As the season approaches, fans are looking forward to the biggest, most popular rivalry games in college football. With some rivalries spanning back over a century, these top 10 games are sure to feature some of the most memorable moments, insane touchdowns, and highest energy crowds in the NCAA.
Counting down by a combination of the highest ticket demand and the largest rivalries, you won’t want to miss out seeing these games in person!
10. UCLA vs. USC
When: November 22, Rose Bowl
With both teams located in Los Angeles, students and alumni have to meet daily, making this rivalry one of the fiercest in NCAA football. It started in 1929 and has many nicknames, including “The Crosstown Showdown” and “The Battle of L.A.” The UCLA Bruins and the USC Trojans are conference rivals, which makes these games even more intense. UCLA has won the last 2 years, but the Trojans won the 5 games before that, so that both have winning streaks in recent memory. This game will be huge, so get your tickets soon and keep an eye out for celebrities watching from the sidelines!
9. Georgia vs. Auburn
When: November 15, Sanford Stadium
Called the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry,” the first game was held in 1892 and has been played almost every year since then. Last year’s game was close as the Georgia Bulldogs had three straight touchdowns before Auburn threw a Hail Mary pass that allowed the Tigers to win the game in the last 25 seconds. While the games are considered a ‘friendly-rivalry,’ they draw out large crowds and result in intense plays.
8. Clemson vs. South Carolina
When: November 29, Clemson Memorial Stadium
Possibly one of the most bitter rivalries in the NCAA, the teams were banned from competing in a bowl game as punishment after a brawl erupted at the end of the 2004 matchup. The schools have played against each other since the 1880’s and last seasons game was their highest-ranked matchup ever. The South Carolina Gamecocks have won the last five meetings, so the Clemson Tigers will be fighting their hardest to overturn this streak.
7. Florida State vs. Miami
When: November 15, Sun Life Stadium
While one of the younger football rivalries on the list, these two Florida teams have regularly drawn huge crowds and high TV ratings. One or both of the teams have been highly ranked going into the game since the 1980’s, making it more heated as national championships are on the line. The Florida State Seminoles have won the game over the Miami Hurricanes since hiring Jimbo Fisher as their head coach in 2010. While the game is looking tough for Miami again, this bitter rivalry will be sure to draw out college football fans.
6. Notre Dame vs. USC
When: November 29, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Traditionally taking place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, this rivalry goes back to 1926 and has continually drawn huge crowds. It has held the second largest attendance record for a game in NCAA history since 1929. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have won the last two games, so the USC Trojans will be looking to make a comeback in one of the most-watched games of the season.
5. The Game: Ohio State vs. Michigan
When: November 29, Ohio Stadium
“The Game,” held since 1897, has been ranked as one of the biggest sports rivalries in North America and often affects who wins the conference title. With iconic moments in history, such as the “10 Year War” between the two teams, this regular-season finale is always intense. This year will be especially big as the Michigan Wolverines have a lot to prove going against the Ohio State Buckeyes, who have gone undefeated the last two seasons.
4. LSU vs. Alabama
When: November 8, LSU Tiger Stadium
With the Alabama Crimson Tide winning the last three games, one of them 21-0, the LSU Tigers will want to prove themselves in this rivalry that dates back to 1895. As bitter rivals, this game will definitely showcase the intensity and energy of both the teams and their fans. These teams are two of the best, both in their league and nationally, so the outcome of this highly contested game will have a big impact on conference and national titles.
3. Red River Showdown: Oklahoma vs. Texas
When: October 11, Cotton Bowl Stadium
The rivalry between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns began in 1900 and has been held at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas since 1932. It’s been nicknamed the Red River Showdown or Shootout after the states’ 1931 Red River Bridge War boundary conflict. The game is held during the Texas State Fair, making the already hyped-up event and crowd even more energetic. Furthermore, Texas will be coming into the game with new head coach Charlie Strong, who many hope will re-energize the team.
2. Iron Bowl: Alabama vs. Auburn
When: November 29, Bryant-Denny Stadium
The Iron Bowl has been building tension between the two Alabama schools since their first game in 1893. Last year’s game was one of the best of all time, nicknamed “Kick Bama Kick,” as the Alabama Crimson Tide was ranked #1 and the Auburn Tigers ranked #4, making it the highest ranked Iron Bowl ever played. With Auburn taking their revenge for two blowout losses in the years before with a 34-28 win, Alabama will have to show them that they’re still number one.
1. Notre Dame vs. Michigan
When: September 6, Notre Dame Stadium
Dating back to their first game against each other in 1887, the rivalry between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Michigan Wolverines is one of the longest in the history of college football. And this game could be your last chance to see it! The teams have canceled or suspended the games from the 2015 to 2019 seasons and games after that have not been determined yet. This will be the fifth hiatus in the history of the rivalry and the last one suspended the rivalry for over 30 years! So make sure you don’t miss this game which is sure to showcase a fantastic finish.