At its heart, college football is a regional enterprise. In recent years, however, the sport has strayed a long way from that model as television money has prompted conference realignment. Now Rutgers and UCLA will soon shuttle between Piscataway, NJ and Los Angeles to play each other in Big Ten conference games; meanwhile Kansas and Missouri no longer play each other in football at all. With every passing decade, college football gets a little less regional, and the sport is quite different than it was even just a few years ago. But college football rivalries never really die, even when they go dormant for a while.
Rivalries are still one of the biggest differentiators between college ball and the NFL, and they can still bring fans together like nothing else. When Pitt and West Virginia got together in Week 1 of 2022 for the first time in 11 years, the event set a Pittsburgh sports attendance record—for all sports, not just college football.
Looking across the league, there are lots of college football rivalries to get excited about. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most bloodthirsty series that help to make this sport what it is: a neighborly festival of football hatred. If you’re looking for a college football matchup that’ll really get your adrenaline going, these are the ones to know.
The 18 Most Intense College Football Rivalries of All Time
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