Our Favorite College Football Rivalries

Auburn Fans Football 1968
Photo: Southern Living, September 1968

It doesn't matter if a conference title is at stake or your school is just trying to make a bad season a little better, these rivalry games are always circled on the calendar as soon as the schedule comes out.

01 of 08

Alabama vs. Auburn

Auburn vs. Alabama
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Arguably the greatest rivalry in all of college football. The Iron Bowl not only settles state bragging rights, it usually determines a spot in the SEC Championship as well. Since 2009 these schools have combined for seven national championships, including four in a row from 2009-2012. The Crimson Tide's title in 2009 followed by the Tigers in 2010 marked the first time two different schools from the same state won consecutive national titles.

02 of 08

Texas vs. Oklahoma

Texas vs. Oklahoma
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Played annually at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas during the State Fair of Texas, The Red River Rivalry is named after the Red River which serves as part of the border between the two states. One or both of the teams have been ranked in each of the past 19 matchups.

03 of 08

Grambling State vs. Southern

Grambling State vs. Southern University
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Most college football fans know of legendary Grambling State coach Eddie Robinson, he of the 408 career wins and 45 winning seasons, but you probably don't know he was briefly a student at Southern University. The game is annually held at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, except in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina forced the game to be played in Houston. The rivalry is so strong, both teams often forgo FCS playoff eligibility in order to place in the Bayou Classic.

04 of 08

Clemson vs. South Carolina

Clemson vs. South Carolina
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SEC meets ACC every Thanksgiving weekend when the two biggest schools in South Carolina meet. The schools didn't play in 2020 due to the pandemic, marking the first time in over a hundred years. When they do resume play this season, South Carolina will have some catching up to do. Clemson has won the six straight against the Gamecocks.

05 of 08

Bethune-Cookman vs. Florida A&M

Bethune-Cookman vs. Florida A&M
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Maybe the only rivalry where winning the halftime show is just as important–maybe even more important–than winning the actual game. That's right, don't dare leave your seat at the half. The BCU Marching Wildcats and the FAMU Marching 100 have been known to entertain fans for up to 90 minutes at halftime. Florida A&M dominated the early years of the rivalry on the field, including a 97-point win in 1960, but the Wildcats currently have a 9-game winning streak over the Rattlers.

06 of 08

Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State

Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State Egg Bowl Trophy
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Thanksgiving in the state of Mississippi isn't as much about turkey and dressing as it is a golden egg. Since 1901, Ole Miss and Mississippi State have been battling for possession of the Golden Egg Trophy over Thanksgiving weekend. It's the 10th longest uninterrupted series in college football. Ole Miss leads the overall series but can only claim three wins over the Bulldogs in the past 13 years.

07 of 08

Tennessee vs. Kentucky

Tennessee vs. Kentucky
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Basketball might be the preferred sport in the Bluegrass State, but these SEC East foes compete in one of the oldest rivalries in all of college football. They first met in 1893 and have met every year since 1919. The Vols have dominated the series of late, but the barrel currently resides in Lexington.

08 of 08

Georgia vs. Florida

Georgia vs. Florida
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With the exception of two years in the mid-90s, Jacksonville has been the host city of this party since 1933. While the vibe along the St. John River might be a party, it's serious business inside the stadium. The Dawgs dominated the early years of the rivalry, so much so, the Gators didn't even score until the sixth time they met. But things changed when the Head Ball Coach took over. Steve Spurrier stressed to his players this was "the most important game of the year." They clearly listened. Spurrier went 11-1 vs. UGA and the balance of power began to shift south. The winner of this game has the inside track to Atlanta and a spot in the SEC Championship.

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