When it comes to discussing the absolute best college football rivalries, there’s one that immediately comes to mind within In-State College Football Rivalries.
That would be the historic Ohio State Buckeyes-Michigan Wolverines rivalry. The two powerhouses play each other every year. Some pundits often refer to the annual showdown as “The Game.”
The two teams first met on Oct. 16, 1897, with the Wolverines emerging victorious 34-0. In all, there have been 117 meetings between the two iconic football programs, with Michigan holding a slight head-to-head advantage (59 wins, 51 losses, and one tie).
Football fans won’t have to wait much longer for chapter No. 118 of the rivalry. The two teams will meet at Ohio Stadium in their regular season finale on November 26 (12:00 p.m. EST). Both teams are vying for top-four finishes and spots in the College Football Playoff, so the 2022 showdown will have extra special meaning, hype, and emotion.
Residents of The Buckeye State will soon be able to place wagers on their favorite teams, as Ohio sports betting is scheduled to launch on Jan. 1, 2023. There will be special sign-up bonuses for new users at the available sportsbooks in Ohio.
If the Buckeyes manage to reach the 2023 National Championship (set for January 9 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California), fans in Ohio will be able to bet on their team winning the big game. Ohio State and defending champion Georgia share the highest 2023 title odds (+200) at both FanDuel and DraftKings.
Ohio State vs. Michigan may be the defining rivalry of NCAA football. But there’s also nothing like a historic rivalry featuring two teams in the same state.
Here is a look at some of the best in-state college football rivalries.
Top 20 Most Bitter In-State Rivalries In College Football pic.twitter.com/vmDxMGV6Ea
— Big Game Boomer (@BigGameBoomer) November 23, 2021
In-State College Football Rivalries Alabama vs. Auburn
The University of Alabama is home to the most prestigious college football program of them all.
The school won 16 national championships, second-most behind only Yale, who won 18 between 1874 and 1927. Over the past century alone, the Crimson Tide has been the model organization of NCAA football.
The University of Alabama is located in Tuscaloosa. Their inner-state rivals, the Auburn University Tigers, play in Auburn, approximately 129 miles away.
This rivalry is often referred to as the “Iron Bowl.” Though the Crimson Tide have enjoyed much greater success in the national title scene, the Tigers have kept this rivalry relatively close throughout the Nick Saban era in Alabama.
Alabama and Auburn play in the powerhouse Southeastern Conference, where the competition is always immense. The competition, history, and geography make this rivalry one of the best in the NCAA.
In-State College Football Rivalries Pittsburgh vs. Penn State
In the NHL, few rivalries are more heated than that of the Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball play in separate divisions, and the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles reside in different conferences. As such, the Pirates-Phillies and Eagles-Steelers rivalries don’t carry as much history or emotion as others.
But when do the Penn State Nittany Lions and Pittsburgh Panthers meet? There’s absolutely no love lost.
2019 marked the milestone 100th meeting between the schools. Penn State has dominated this rivalry dating back to 1989, having won 10 of the past 12 showdowns. The Nittany Lions lead the head-to-head series with 53 wins against 43 losses and four ties.
Georgia vs. Georgia Tech
Passionate football fans know the real simple four-word term for this rivalry: “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.”
There simply isn’t a better way to describe the intensity of this rivalry between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Next season will mark the milestone 130th anniversary of their first meeting (Nov. 4, 1893, with Georgia Tech winning 28-6).
Now, the rivalry has been lopsided in recent years in favor of the Bulldogs. Georgia Tech is in the midst of a retooling phase, having fired Geoff Collins earlier this season and replacing him with Brent Key.
But make no mistake, the emotion and hatred are real between the two teams whenever they take the field, regardless of their standing. The Bulldogs dominated Georgia Tech 45-0 on Nov. 27 last season en route to a victory over Alabama in the National Championship.
The two teams will meet again in the regular season finale on November 26. The Bulldogs would surely love to make one last statement before they embark on a national title defense.