50 Best College Football Rivalries of All-Time

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Nov 29, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive back Blake Countess (2) breaks up a pass intended for Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Devin Smith (9) at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

All year, fans look forward the day when his or her team plays its most heated rival. Which game is the best of the best? We count down the 50 greatest college football rivalries of all-time. 

History. Pageantry. Spirit. Bragging Rights. Passion. Respect. Pride. Hatred.

There are many things that come to mind when thinking of college football’s greatest rivalries – often all at once. It’s like old, grainy black-and-white or Technicolor footage of touchdowns, cheerleaders, pom-poms and green grass.

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The marching band plays in the background, and the roar of the crowd grows louder and louder as the footage gradually gains speed. It gets faster and faster until a 240-pound linebacker knocks a quarterback’s helmet off in full HD.

It can be overwhelming, but exciting at the same time. It’s a personal reaction and one of the things that makes college football the most special sport in America. All year, fans talk about it with friends, family, and co-workers. They call into local talk radio shows in February, in July, in November. And then finally, on that one very special day, Old Alma Mater straps it up against its most bitter rival.

They’ve played on the same fall Saturday for more than a hundred years, but each new meeting is a brand new chapter in an ever-expanding book. And fans can’t wait to find out how it ends.

Because of the personal feelings involved, ranking one rivalry series above another is sure to upset those whose passion burns for his or her favorite team. It’s understandable. Alas, we throw caution to the wind to explore the 50 best rivalries in college football history.

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