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College Football Rivalries We Want Back

Rob Joyce
May 06, 2020 - 8:16 am

We love college football for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is having a group of people come together to fully, whole-heartedly root against a rival school without reservation. There’s nothing quite like a college rivalry, but conference re-alignment last decade took away some of the oldest and fiercest the game had to offer.

One of those is getting renewed, with the announcement that the “Border War” between Kansas and Missouri will return for a four-year stretch starting in 2025. It adds to the list of many renewed rivalry games in recent years (Florida-Miami, BYU-Utah, Colorado-Nebraska) or ones that are coming soon (Nebraska-Oklahoma and Arkansas-Texas in 2021, the Backyard Brawl in 2022). It got us thinking... what other rivalries on hiatus do we want back? Here are the top five:


5) TCU vs. Texas A&M: There were bigger Southwest Conference rivalries lost when the conference disbanded in the 1990s, but this would be a marquee non-conference game almost every year if it ever came back. Dating back to 1897, the two met just about every year – and sometimes twice a season – until the formation of the SWC in 1924, when they played every season through 1995. The only meeting since came in the 2001 GalleryFurniture.com Bowl.

Also, this is the series that started the famous “Gig ‘Em Aggies” phrase.


4) Iowa State vs. Missouri: After playing for 93 consecutive years, the Cyclones and Tigers haven’t met since 2011, the last year Mizzou was in the Big 12 before leaving for the SEC. There are fiercer rivalries out there, but not many trophies as cool as the Telephone Trophy, which first existed in 1959 after the year prior there was a telephone issue for both coaching staffs.


Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports


3) Cincinnati vs. Louisville: Apart from a few seasons in the mid-1990s, the Keg of Nails was played every year from 1966 through 2013, when the Cardinals bolted the American after one year for the ACC. After surviving stints in the Missouri Valley, Metro, Conference-USA and Big East, it couldn’t handle another move. Perhaps, though, tensions have thawed a bit? Over the weekend it was announced the two would meet in basketball this winter for the first time since Louisville left.


2) Auburn vs. Georgia Tech: The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry already lost a ton of luster, as Auburn and Georgia won’t play every year anymore. The Tigers already lost its annual battle against the other Peach State school. Rivals dating back to the turn of the 20th century, the Tigers and Yellow Jackets played each other every year from 1892 until 1987 (with a few single-year absences mixed in). They played a home-and-home in 2003 and 2005, but nothing has come to light since.


1) Texas vs. Texas A&M: One of the oldest rivalries in college football, the Longhorns and Aggies have met 118 times overall, including once a year from 1915-2011. Then A&M left the Big 12 for the SEC, and the two universities have barely acknowledged the other’s existence since. Fans of the two programs are so wanting the resumption of the rivalry that the government tried to get involved. In 2013 a piece of legislation made its way through the state government that would have required the two to meet every year.