College sports are something we all hold sacred in our heart. Regardless of the sport, we find ourselves cheering on our school even in a sport we may not like. Unlike professional sports where players are getting paid to beat the man in a different uniform, college sports are filled with amateurs who just do not like their rival. Sometimes it gets heated, sometimes it gets bloody. Sometimes it just makes it one of the best things to watch on TV.
Here are our five favorite rivalries in college sports.
#5 Michigan State University vs. Michigan University (Football)
It’s hard to find a state where two schools aren't already rivals. It’s even harder when both of them are powerhouses within the same division. That division just happens to be the power five conference that is the Big Ten Conference. The rivalry was intensified when the Michigan Wolverines grabbed themselves their own alumnus, Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh was recruited and played for the Bo Schembechler-led Wolverines from 1982-to-1986.
#4 Louisville University vs. University of Kentucky (Basketball)
Our first basketball rivalry on this list had to be the Wildcats versus the Cardinals. Unlike the others on this list, this rivalry has pretty much been one-sided, with Kentucky leading in the win column 34 to Louisville's 16. The rivalry got even bigger in 2001 when Louisville hired Rick Pitino as their head coach. Pitino was the head coach of Kentucky from 1989 to 1997; before being replaced by Tubby Smith. This rivalry would be higher on this list if it weren’t so one-sided. We’re looking at you Louisville.
#3 University of Alabama vs. Auburn University (Football)
Another great in-state football rivalry, The Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers do not like each other under any circumstance. Ever since Nick Saban arrived at Alabama in 2007, it's pretty much been Alabama versus the SEC. But each year during late November, the two teams meet up in the Iron Bowl (Not like the other bowl games.) Alabama has started to dominate this rivalry; winning eight of the last ten matchups.
#2 University of North Carolina vs. Duke University (Basketball)
Easily the best rivalry in college basketball and depending on your favorite sport, some could argue the best rivalry in college sports. Nicknamed “The Battle for Tobacco Road,” due to the two schools’ proximity along U.S. Highway 15-501, also known as Tobacco Road. No more than 10 miles apart, Duke and North Carolina are easily the closest rivals in college sports. Despite being an extremely split rivalry as of late, Chapel Hill leads the Blue Devils in the win column 135 to 110.
#1 University of Michigan vs. The Ohio State University (Football)
Easily the best rivalry in college football the matchup between the Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes is also nicknamed, “The Game.” The simplicity of its nickname alone makes it hard to argue a better rivalry in college sports. Aside from a few exceptions, “The Game” is always played during the last week of the regular season and the majority of the time the kickoff is at 12 pm. Up to 2010, “The Game” has decided the Big Ten Conference championship 22 times. The 2006 matchup, “The Game of the Century,” featured the No. 1 (Ohio State) and No. 2 (Michigan) teams in the country. Michigan leads the rivalry 58-46-6.