After Notre Dame: SEC Rivalries The Conference Needs
For the sporting man like us, there’s always someone you love and someone you hate. For the SEC fan, the someone we love is our SEC team and the one we hate is their biggest rival. See Auburn and Alabama for example.
Now, the madness that is the conference realignment has meant that one of college football’s best rivalry games – Notre Dame and Michigan – dies after 2014, going the way of West Virginia and Pittsburgh, and the One We Pray Will Get Resurrected, The Texas A&M- Texas game. Yes, we know that A&M are in the SEC now, but if Georgia can manage to play Georgia Tech, Florida can play Florida State and South Carolina can play Clemson, why can’t Texas play Texas A&M?
Anyway, here’s a list of Ten rivalries – unlikely as it may seem – that we hope will never get ‘ended’. We’re going to take Auburn-Alabama out of the equation, simply because both teams play in the same division. Same goes for Tennessee vs Florida, South Carolina vs Georgia, South Carolina vs Tennessee etc etc.
1) Auburn vs Georgia
Why it should stay: It’s the SEC’s oldest rivalry, and with the shake-up in outside conference opponents, it could be that we see the end of Auburn-Georgia in the not-so distant future. Why? Auburn and Georgia have been playing each other almost every year since 1892. The record is 54-53-8 in Auburn’s favor, and it’s one of the most loved rivalries in college football.
Why it might go: Thanks to complaining from certain SEC coaches about the draw that they’ve got, the SEC might want Georgia or Auburn to play every team from an opposing conference more constantly, therefore killing the Auburn-Georgia rivalry.
2) Florida – Florida State
Why It Should Stay: Both sides absolutely despise each other, and it’s turned into a real ‘spitting bullets’ of a rivalry between these two, with both sides not owning bigger than nine straight victories (see Florida in 1968-76). Also, it’s a great showcase of in-state talent, and also a great recruiting tool for both schools.
Why It Might Go: Florida OR Florida State worry about their out-of-conference schedule and decides not to have this big-time rivalry game anymore, preferring the likes of South Florida, Central Florida or someone smaller to help them through to a potential play-off place. Believe me, ADs have done worse (see Texas A&M and Texas). The rivalry hasn’t exactly been done any favours by Notre Dame’s entry into the ACC, either.
3) South Carolina – Clemson
Why It Should Stay: South Carolina might be a SEC school, but the Gamecocks have always hated Clemson more than any of their SEC opponents (even if Georgia and Florida are still mighty games), and Clemson fans feel likewise (even if Florida State is a becoming more and more of a rival). It’s so big in that part of the world that a South Carolina lawmaker has proposed a bill trying to ensure that the 103-year rivalry keeps on going. And the way Steve Spurrier’s recruiting, Clemson’s 65-40-4 record will be slimming by the year!
Why It Might Go: Schedulers again don’t like the idea of their school losing a potential play-off spot, and take each other off the board. South Alabama and UAB suddenly get double invites to massacre. The rivalry hasn’t exactly been done any favours by Notre Dame’s entry into the ACC, either.
4) Kentucky – Louisville
Why It Should Stay: Now a great bourbon-inbibing tradition, it’s the start of the season for both teams, and it’s a great way for the locals to get together. Sure, it would be easy to get rid of a football rivalry that’s only spanned 25 meetings (Kentucky leads 14-11), but they’ve played each other for the Governor’s Cup every year since 1994.
Why It Might Go: Schedulers decide they had more fun in the 70 years of peace that penning in each other’s sides for a game.
5) LSU – Florida
Why It Should Stay: First of all, we love it. The atmosphere in both stadiums – Death Valley for the visit of the Gators, The Swamp for the visit of the Tigers – is off the hook. The smell of bourbon is in the air, and they are usually pretty good games. Plus, they haven’t missed each other since 1971, in a series that Florida leads 30-25-3. Every game brings more intrigue.
Why It Might Go: Despite first shutting down LSU’s wish to get Florida OFF the schedule, SEC schedulers decide that LSU and Florida should play everyone in the opposing division an equal amount of times. Depending on how good each team is at the time, both sets of schedulers breathe easy. The fans do not.
6) Tennessee – Alabama
Why It Should Stay: The Third Saturday In October is something special to both Bama and Tennessee fans. The two teams have played each other almost every year since 1928 (although the rivalry started as early as 1901), and Bama leads 48-38-7 in the rivalry, including Alabama’s current five game winning streak. For Tennessee, this game’s almost as important to Vols fans as Florida and for Alabama fans, this is (at times!) on par with LSU (but way behind Auburn!).
Why It Might Go: See LSU-Florida.
7) Vanderbilt – Ole Miss
Why It Should Stay: It’s been going every year since 1945 (and almost every year since 1929), and it originated in 1894. Ole Miss leads 46-37-2, if you’re interested. Oh, and it’s a cracking party at The Grove or in Nashville every year, even if the games haven’t been rivetingly interesting in the last few years. Plus, Hugh Freeze and James Franklin both want to keep the rivalry around.
Why It Might Go: SEC schedulers – although we don’t think it’s in as much danger, because it’s not a high-profile SEC match-up. Sorry if that sounds nasty.
8) Georgia – Georgia Tech
Why It Should Stay: First of all, ‘Clean Old Fashioned Hate’ is one of the best names for a rivalry since…nothing. We love it. Georgia and Georgia Tech have been at each other since 1893. Although Georgia 62-39-5 record over the Yellow Jackets, it’s always great to see two teams in the same state dislike each other so much. Although Georgia sees Florida as the bigger rival, this is another Cocktail Party that any SEC fan should experience once in their life.
Why It Might Go: If both sides become a real force in college football, they could try and take each other off the schedule for reasons of easiness. The rivalry hasn’t exactly been done any favours by Notre Dame’s entry into the ACC, either. Savannah State, get chatting!
The Rivalries We Want Back… Badly
Missouri – Kansas: Despite their presence in the SEC now, Mizzou and Kansas still absolutely despise each other, and Mizzou’s realignment has brought peace to ‘The Border War’ after 120 games in a series actually older than Auburn-Georgia (originated in 1891 and played each other every year since then). They can’t even work out who’s won more games. And regardless of where both programs are, it’s always a really nasty atmosphere either in Lawrence or Columbia between both sets of fans. Just how we like it.
Texas A&M- Texas: A) Because Aggies fans sing most of their songs about hating The Longhorns. It sounds weird that they don’t actually play them at football. B) Because Aggies fans don’t have any other natural rivals (unlike Texas and Oklahoma/Oklahoma State/The rest of the Big XII), regardless of how much they’ll try and pump up the Arkansas game. C) Because Thanksgiving sucks without A&M and UT facing off each other. D) This rivalry ended because either the Aggies were so furious about money. Does no-one out there have money to make sure this rivalry comes out again? (Hint: Jerry Jones?)
Tagged with: Alabama • Arkansas • Auburn • CFB • College Football • Florida • Georgia • Kentucky • LSU • Mississippi State • Missouri • Ole Miss • Predictions • Rankings • Rivalries • SEC • SEC East • SEC West • Tennessee • Texas A&M • Vanderbilt
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!