Top 15 College Football Rivalries | national sport

What Makes a Great College Football Rivalry? Three main ingredients are consistently found in some of the biggest competitions: First, it helps when the rival is geographically close. When schools are in the same state or in a neighboring state, fans of both schools live close enough to feed a long-running year-round competition—and they can travel to the game every season. Second, as competitors, the teams must be closely aligned; No one wants to watch a game when the outcome is always a foregone conclusion. Third, a rivalry needs a lot of lore and history – the longer the better.

The 15 soccer rivalries featured here tick all of those boxes and more. To celebrate the school spirit, Best Universities, using data from Stathead, has compiled a list of the best balanced, long-running college football rivalries in the United States. Rivalries were ranked based on how closely each team’s overall wins in a given rivalry are compared. Only rivalries with at least 90 games played were considered. Also, due to limitations of the data set, only games where at least one team was counted as a “main school” (equivalent to the current Division I Football Bowl Subdivision) were included, so the records may not match all-time totals calculated elsewhere.

Most of these 15 rivalries go back not one, but two centuries — to the 1890s. Fans buy tickets and mark their calendars months in advance, considering the “big game” between their alma mater and their arch-rival as one of the highlights of the season each year.

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