If there’s one thing that college football has that the NFL doesn’t, it’s bitter in-state rivalries. Outside of the Browns and the Bengals in Ohio and the two so-called New York teams, you won’t find many heated in-state rivalries, not even in Florida or California. However, college football has in-state rivalries in abundance. Frankly, there are almost too many to name. However, we still wanted to rank some of the most intense in-state rivalries in college football.
5. Georgia vs Georgia Tech
There’s a reason why this rivalry is nicknamed “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.” The two Peach State rivals dislike each other and have for a long time. The first Georgia-Georgia Tech football game was played in 1893 and continues to be played virtually every year despite the two teams playing in different conferences.
The rivalry is so fierce that Georgia fans change the last line of their fight song to “and to hell with Georgia Tech” whenever the Bulldogs play the Yellow Jackets.
4. Oregon vs Oregon State
For nearly 100 years, the annual Oregon vs Oregon State game was known as the Civil War. Admittedly, the name was a little insensitive and over the top, but it did help to highlight the intensity of the rivalry. There are no other major football programs in the state, so everyone in Oregon has to pick either the Ducks or the Beavers.
There have been wild stories involving fans between the two schools over the years, including a brawl in 1972 and the brief kidnapping of an Oregon State homecoming queen in 1960. The rivalry is crazy, and that typically comes across on the field.
3. BYU vs Utah
There are more famous rivalries, but there are few schools that genuinely hat one another as much as Utah and BYU. That’s why the rivalry is known as the Holy War. Culturally, the two schools couldn’t be more different, which is why the game is sometimes viewed as a battle of “church vs state.”
There’s a lot of intermingling between fans because the schools are only 50 miles apart, and those fans legitimately hate one another, much like the players on both sides.
2. Florida State vs Miami
Honestly, we could probably do a top-5 ranking of rivalries just within the state of Florida. But the one between FSU and Miami is the best in the Sunshine State. Starting in the late 1980s, there were so many memorable games between the two teams, particularly when both were highly ranked.
It’s almost impossible to keep track of all of the Wide Right endings. The fact that they now play in the same conference has added another element to the rivalry, taking it to another level.
1. Alabama vs Auburn
There are great rivalries, but there’s nothing like the Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama. The whole state of Alabama is obsessed with football, and literally, every resident of the state chooses either Roll Tide or War Eagle with some families have split loyalties.
Every year, the winner of the game and its fans get 364 days worth of bragging rights, which almost means more than winning an SEC title or a national championship, and that tells you everything you need to know about the intensity of this rivalry.