SMU and TCU meet for the 100th time Saturday in one of the best games of the week. We thought that was some sort of touchstone: Wow, the 100th game; how many FBS rivalries can be that old?
Well, as it turns out, a lot: SMU-TCU will be the 60th rivalry to reach the century mark.
A lot of the old rivalries are well-known, like Army-Navy, Auburn-Georgia, Cal-Stanford, Michigan-Ohio State, Minnesota-Wisconsin and North Carolina-Virginia (and no bias intended in how we listed the teams; it’s alphabetical within the matchup). But there are more than a few that had us shaking our head in surprise.
Here’s the whole list — all 59 of the NCAA “rivalries” that are least 100 games old.
Minnesota-Wisconsin. They famously play for Paul Bunyan’s Axe. They meet for the 131st time to end the regular season on November 27.
North Carolina-Virginia. UNC beats the Cavs last Saturday in the 127th meeting. As old as this rivalry is, we’re betting most UNC alums and students would rather beat NC State than UVa. And we’re betting most UVa alums and students would rather beat Virginia Tech than UNC.
Auburn-Georgia. This season’s game is October 9. The Bulldogs and Tigers have played annually since 1944. Arguably the most famous coach at each school went to the other: Vince Dooley is an Auburn alum and Pat Dye a Georgia alum.
Cincinnati-Miami (Ohio). The Bearcats opened the season with a victory over the RedHawks. And get this: That tied the series at 59-59-7.
Oregon-Oregon State. A lot of folks still call it “The Civil War” even though the schools discourage that. And while this certainly is an old rivalry, most Ducks fan will tell you they’d rather beat Washington.
California-Stanford. They play November 20. Think of this as a “class struggle” game (as numerous rivalries are): You have the state-school folks in Berkeley against the private-school folks in Palo Alto.
Indiana-Purdue. This season’s meeting for the Old Oaken Bucket is November 27, the final weekend of the regular season.
Army-Navy. They meet December 11 in the Meadowlands, which is one week after the conference championship games and one week before the start of the bowls.
Kansas-Missouri. Sadly, this is a defunct rivalry. The teams haven’t met since 2011, which was the last season Mizzou was in the Big 12. Before that, the teams had met every season since 1918. Kansas leads the series 57-54-9.
Kansas-Kansas State. This season, the game is November 6.
Texas-Texas A&M. Another defunct rivalry. As with KU-Mizzou, the teams haven’t met since 2011, the last season the Aggies were in the Big 12. Before that, they had met every season since 1914. Once the Longhorns join the SEC, you have to figure they’ll meet annually again.
Clemson-South Carolina. Since 1960, the teams have met on the final weekend of the regular season (except for last season, because of COVID). Before that, the game was held on a Thursday in conjunction with the state fair, which meant it always was in Columbia. The series started in 1896, and the first time the teams met at Clemson was 1960.
Kansas-Nebraska. Yet another defunct rivalry. The teams haven’t met since 2010, the last season Nebraska was in the Big 12. It also was one of the most one-sided rivalries in the nation: Nebraska leads the series 91-23-3.
Mississippi State-Ole Miss. This season’s “Egg Bowl” will be November 25, which is Thanksgiving.
Baylor-TCU. This season’s game is November 6. TCU leads the series 56-53-7.
Kentucky-Tennessee. The teams meet on November 6 this season. The teams have met annually since 1944, and UK has won just nine times in the past 50 seasons. But the Vols and Wildcats have split the past four matchups.
Michigan-Ohio State. The best college football rivalry in the nation? If this isn’t No. 1, it’s No. 2. They meet November 27 this season. The Buckeyes have won eight in a row, their longest streak in series history. Michigan’s longest streak is nine, from 1901-09.
Oklahoma-Texas. This season’s “Red River Shootout” (none of that nonsense about “Red River Showdown”) is October 9. One of the top three “border state” rivalries, with Florida-Georgia and Michigan-Ohio State.
Oklahoma-Oklahoma State. The “Bedlam” game is November 27 this season. This is quite the one-sided affair: OU leads the series 90-18-7.
Tennessee-Vanderbilt. This season’s game is November 27. It’s not as one-sided as “Bedlam,” but it’s close: The Vols lead the series 77-33-5. But five of Vandy’s wins have come in the past nine meetings.
Georgia-Georgia Tech. This is another type of rivalry — the intrastate city vs. country thing. (Though Athens certainly is not “country” — though it was way back when.) This season’s game is November 27.
Illinois-Northwestern. The “Land of Lincoln” trophy will be on the line when the teams meet November 27. The Illini lead the series 55-54-5.
Iowa-Minnesota. They meet November 13 with the best trophy of them all going to the winner: Floyd of Rosedale. Hey, nothing says “intense rivalry” like a bronze pig.
NC State-Wake Forest. When these schools first met in 1895, the campuses were about 20 miles apart: NC State in Raleigh and Wake Forest in Wake Forest, N.C. Wake Forest University moved to Winston-Salem, N.C., in 1956, and the campuses now are about 105 miles apart. This season’s meeting is November 13.
LSU-Mississippi State. Raise your hand if you knew LSU’s most-played opponent was Mississippi State. The teams play this weekend.
Michigan-Michigan State. Ahhh, yes, big brother vs. little brother. This season’s meeting is October 30.
Colorado State-Wyoming. The campuses are about 65 miles apart, which makes it easy for opposing fans to get to an “away” game. This season’s game is November 6.
Oregon-Washington. This is the rivalry in the Pacific Northwest. The teams play November 6 this season.
Utah-Utah State. The teams no longer play annually, with Utah’s move to the Pac-12 the key factor. The last meeting was in 2015.
Washington-Washington State. As with Oregon in the Oregon-Oregon State series, the Apple Cup for Washington takes a backseat to Oregon-Washington. But this is the biggie for Washington State. This season’s renewal is November 26.
Kansas-Oklahoma. Presumably, this longtime “rivalry” ends when Oklahoma goes to the SEC. This season’s meeting is October 23; Kansas would need to win this season’s game, then the next 50 in a row to tie the series.
New Mexico-New Mexico State. New Mexico already won this season’s game, 34-25 on September 11. That was the Lobos’ 40th win in the past 51 meetings between the teams.
Baylor-Texas. They meet October 30. Texas leads the series 79-27-4. The series began in 1901, and Baylor never has won more than two in a row.
North Carolina-NC State. Duke-UNC is the big basketball rivalry; this is the big football rivalry in the state. This season’s game is November 26.
LSU-Ole Miss. The teams have met every season since 1945. The rivalry was at its height in the late 1950s and early 1960s; from 1958-63, five games were played in which both teams were ranked in the top six. They play October 23 this season.
Baylor-Texas A&M. Another longtime series that has gone away. They haven’t played since A&M left for the SEC.
North Carolina-Wake Forest. UNC has a lot of games on this list. These teams are not in the same division in the ACC, so they no longer play annually. They will play this season, on November 6 — but it will be a non-conference matchup.
Duke-North Carolina. There’s nowhere near the intensity of the basketball rivalry in the football version. The teams meet October 2.
California-USC. Another public school vs. private school thing. This season’s game is November 13.
Iowa State-Nebraska. This game went by the wayside when the Huskers left for the Big Ten. We doubt anyone at Iowa State misses it: Nebraska has won 86 times in the series.
Alabama-Mississippi State. This is the Tide’s most frequent opponent. They play October 16.
Oregon State-Washington. They meet October 2 this season.
Oregon State-Washington State. They play October 9 this season. Oregon State has had more success vs. Washington State (the Beavers trail the Cougars 55-47-3) than vs. Washington (the Beavers trail the Huskies 67-34-4).
Iowa State-Kansas State. They meet October 16. The perfect description for this game came from Austin Meek in 2010 in the Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal: “When Kansas State and Iowa State meet, it looks like two freckled farm kids wrestling in the grass, trading punches until someone loses a tooth.”
Iowa State-Missouri. This series bit the dust when Mizzou left for the SEC.
Michigan-Minnesota. Alas, there is no more annual battle for the “Little Brown Jug,” which is the oldest trophy game in the nation. The teams did play last season, and Minnesota’s win cut Michigan’s series lead to 76-25-3.
Missouri-Nebraska. Another series that is no more. The last game was in 2010, which was Nebraska’s last season in the Big 12,
Pitt-West Virginia. It’s called the “Backyard Brawl” because the campuses are in close proximity, about 75 miles apart. But there ain’t much brawling anymore: They last played in 2011. Before that, the schools had played every season but three (1940-42) since 1918.
Alabama-Tennessee. This remains a big deal to a lot of older Tide and Vols fans, though it’s not much of a rivalry of late. The Tide has won 14 in a row heading into this season’s game on October 23.
Illinois-Ohio State. This is not an annual thing anymore; they haven’t played since 2017.
Northwestern-Wisconsin. This season’s meeting is November 13.
Virginia-Virginia Tech. The teams have played annually since 1970. While UNC-UVa is an older rivalry, this is the one with the most intensity for the Cavs. The teams close the regular season against each other on November 27.
Kansas State-Oklahoma. This almost certainly will end when OU goes to the SEC. That’s probably fine with K-State: The Sooners lead the series 76-21-4. The teams play October 2.
BYU-Utah. Though the schools don’t like the name, this is the “Holy War” rivalry. BYU won 26-17 on September 11. (Actually, the teams disagree on the number of times they’ve played. Utah says it’s 101, BYU says it’s 95. The difference is six games in the 1890s, which the schools split; BYU was known as Brigham Young Academy then, and the school says not all the football players on its teams then were college students.)
Duke-Wake Forest. Two private schools that have gotten together for a long time. They didn’t play last season because of COVID, which was the first time since 1966 they didn’t meet. They play October 30 this season.
Iowa State-Kansas. These schools haven’t exactly been known for success on the gridiron, so no surprise it has been evenly matched. KU leads the series 50-44-6. This season’s game is October 2.
Oregon-Washington State. The teams play November 13.
Penn State-Pitt. Pitt’s two most-played opponents are Penn State and West Virginia, and neither is an annual game anymore. The Nittany Lions and Panthers did play in 2019, which ended a four-years-in-a-row contract; they hadn’t met since 2000 before that. They played annually from 1935-92. And there is no scheduled game in the future.
Stanford-USC. The rare private school vs. private school rivalry that actually has some heat to it. Stanford beat the Trojans 42-28 on September 11; USC coach Clay Helton was fired two days later.