Best In-State Rivalry list? Per ESPN

Submitted by Geneticblue on June 6th, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Yesterday on College Football Live, ESPN made a list of the best in-state rivalries and debated where BYU vs Utah would fit in.  Notably missing from this list was Michigan vs Michigan State as well as Georgia vs Georgia Tech and a few other notables.  Where do you feel that the Michigan vs Michigan State rivalry lands in college football?

ESPN's list:

Alabama vs Auburn


Florida vs Florida State

Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State

Oregon vs Oregon State

South Carolina vs Clemson


Making this worse was the fact that it was delivered by Joe Tessitore, whos spray-tan, botox'd forehead and absurdly white teeth seriously bother me.  I am waiting for the day that they let Samantha Ponder run the show again. 


Come On Down

June 6th, 2013 at 10:06 AM ^

I think it's similar to the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State rivalry. One program has historically been very good, the other has been ok but not great. One considers the other its main rival while the other has bigger fish to fry...


June 6th, 2013 at 10:43 AM ^

Another difference between OK and MI is that in OK none of the directional schools are Div. 1.  The only other Div. 1 football program in the state is Tulsa, a private college.  Also, until the Thunder arrived, Oklahoma had no major league professional sports team, so while  a lot of people do root for out of state professional teams, the venom and fanaticism is directed towards college sports.  


June 6th, 2013 at 10:56 AM ^

 Personally, I think they hit the mark on the top 3. AL-AU is definitely number one and USC-UCLA, and FSU-FL are neck & neck for 2nd / 3rd depending on teams and prominence as schools ebb and wane.

 The next two are all perception as they have called OR-OSU “the civil war” and I know now, living close to Oregon, in and near the state it is ALL that. I totally dismiss OklaSt-OK favoring BYU-Utah as I have known people involved and it truly is a “Holy War” with almost all LDS in the USA. Utah has long been where the non-LDS attended and each school really dislikes the other equally.

 I am surprised Cal-Stanford was not mention as it takes on a rather bizarre, surreal twist with all that has happened. TX-TAMU should be in the discussion also, yet with the recent events IMO that should grow and land squarely in the Top 3 within 10 years.

 UofM-MSU would fall in a similar category as OklaSt-OK; big in the state involved, yet no real concern nationally and one of the schools as has been said “has bigger fish to fry”


ATX Wolverine

June 6th, 2013 at 10:12 AM ^

No Texas/Texas A&M?  Granted I may be biased having lived in Austin, but that has to be one of the most heated in-state rivalries.  Plus A&M occasionally (and recently) has some decent seasons, so they're not a perennial doormat.


June 6th, 2013 at 10:48 AM ^

Though perhaps they consciously omitted it b/c they don't play each other anymore since A&M's move to the SEC.

Having grown up in TX among a family full of Aggies, I can testify that is one fierce rivalry -- sort of like cousins in the same family who grudgingly respect but nevertheless can't stand each other. It's some real, good old-fashioned hatred that goes well beyond athletics to embrace the schools' whole cultures (formerly all-military ag school vs. sophisticated flagship university) and locations (boring, ultra-conservative College Station vs. hip, ultra-liberal Austin). As this writer put it: "Longhorns vs. Aggies is about family pride. It’s about farmers vs. city slickers; burnt orange vs. maroon; it’s the Corps vs. the Spurs and Cowboys; horses vs. oil wells. It’s about how we identify ourselves not just in college, but in life. " Damn shame the rivalry had to end.

After that, I'd vote for Alabama-Auburn in terms of pure mutual hatred quotient.


June 6th, 2013 at 10:17 AM ^

I guess we're kinda up there because both teams have been competitive, but it's really a more sour rivalry than a fun one. Usually Michigan wins, usually Michigan State is a little bitch about it. Ranking rivalries is so subjective anyway. It's a sibling rivalry


June 6th, 2013 at 10:18 AM ^

Oregon vs Oregon State is a top rivalry?   What the f?!?!?!  The only time I care about Beavers and Ducks is when I jump the wrong BEAVER and have to DUCK behind the dresser.


June 6th, 2013 at 10:21 AM ^

The problem with putting the UM vs.MSU rivalry on the list is that it's overshadowed by the budding MSU vs. IKEA rivalry. 


June 6th, 2013 at 10:23 AM ^

That's the only reason why I could see OK-OK State on there.  I would replace that game with Texas-Texas A&M and still leave us and Sparty off the list.  It's a top 10 rivalry, but historically it doesn't top those others.  

It also helps when both teams are good at the same time for at least five years.  That hasn't happened in my lifetime of 30+ years.


June 6th, 2013 at 10:25 AM ^

Michigan vs MSU is a rivalry like Notre Dame vs Purdue is a rivalry.  The fact that it wasn't included in the list is hilarious.

Look the Mich/MSU rivalry is fun, because I do get annoyed when we lose to them, but the writing is on the wall.  I really believe they are headed back to being a minor nuisance once or twice a decade.

Space Coyote

June 6th, 2013 at 11:22 AM ^

I feel like sometimes, because it hasn't had the implications of The Game in the past, that people try to downplay it (no real UM fan should ever say it isn't a rivalry).

The reality check is that over the last 3 decades MSU has won 11 times, and if you want to take out the Rich Rod years as if they didn't count, it's still 8 times in 27 years, or nearly 1/3 of the time (this includes a Michigan 6 game win streak that took place in the John L Smith years, which, if you're taking out the RR years, they have just as much right to take out JLS year).

Most of the time the games are pretty competitive too. It's an annoyance (I agree with this phrase) because it has felt in the past that it shouldn't be as competitive as it has been, but for whatever reason it has tended to be at least relatively competitive and always hard fought.

Space Coyote

June 6th, 2013 at 1:03 PM ^

Did you see JLS slap himself, multiple times. Did you see how JLS turned a potential MNC team into a laughing stock. JLS was/is horrible. I'm just saying, if you don't count the RR years, then it's only fair to not count JLS years. I prefer to count all years because they actually happened, whether you like to remember it or not.

At the end of the day though, the point still stands that it hasn't just been a "take MSU out to the woodshed" for 30 years. Only once in the last 30 years has Michigan had a winning streak longer than 3 games. So while you want to take it on back, the fact is that recent history has proven to be fairly competitive of a rivalry, typically even more competitive on the scoreboard than in the W-L sheet.

The reason it's doesn't have as much cache is because it was never competitive before the 80s. Michigan dominated through the 40s, MSU had the 50s and 60s, and then Michigan had the 70s. But since the mid-80s MSU has essentially averaged a win every 3 years.


June 7th, 2013 at 8:01 AM ^

The problem with the MSU series isn't just that it's been one-sided (which can also be said of the OSU series, in both directions, since 1988) - but that both teams are almost never good at the same time.  Prior to 2008, almost all of MSU's wins were big upsets.



June 6th, 2013 at 10:25 AM ^

Where do you feel that the Michigan vs Michigan State rivalry lands in college football?

Where does it land? Under the category of "not a rivalry".



June 6th, 2013 at 5:50 PM ^

Nah. RCMB has bigger fish to fry, like...

"DAE think Mitch McGump is OLD?! XDDDD"

"NEED HELP! So I have this weird thing on my butt..."

"Post pics of ur smokin hawt wife/girlfriend/sister/daughter/mom in here!"

"DAE think scUM is paying there players (AGAIN)?"

"Who ya got in a fight...Optimus Prime, T-Rex, or my dad (he's pretty buff)?"

"DAE think Cousins should be starting over RGIII?"


"Izzo apprechiachun thread!"

"Thing on my butt has gotten bigger..."


June 6th, 2013 at 10:25 AM ^

Miami - FSU???

It's apparently only talking about national relevance as opposed to just bad blood  MSU HATES UM...which of those rivalries is pure unadluterated 2-way..hatred?


June 6th, 2013 at 10:26 AM ^

From my experience from living in Az, these schools seriously hate each other. Going into Tucson is always hostile for ASU fans. Yes they are both terrible and nationally irrelevant but the rivalry is still intense for fans and players.


June 6th, 2013 at 10:52 AM ^

National relevance does seem to be a criterion they used in selecting these rivalries.  In all but one case (Oregon-Oregon State) both teams have some exposure nationally as a decent team at some point in the past 20 years.  I suspect you're right in that being the reason they didn't include Arizona-Arizona State or a rivalry like Purdu-Indiana.


June 6th, 2013 at 10:26 AM ^

No Ohio vs OHIO?!?! Just kidding, but I'll take any chance I can get to post a picture of a proud Bobcat moment. Michigan vs Michigan State should have definitely made that list.




June 6th, 2013 at 11:27 AM ^

I was basing it on the fact Oregon vs Oregon State was on the list.  I should not have assumed that Oregon has always dominated that rivalry because the series is actually pretty close.

Edit:  I actually still think UM vs MSU should be on a rivalry list. As a Yankees fan, I hated the Red Sox even before they came back in the ALCS and won a World Series and made the anual series more competitive.  A rivalry is more than just records, it's also a measure of the level of animosity between the fan bases, what's on the line, etc etc. 


June 6th, 2013 at 10:30 AM ^

Hard to justify M-MSU when Michigan's biggest rival is OSU and then #2 is debated between MSU and ND. Hard to call one of the biggest rivalries when one side isn't sure how much they care


June 6th, 2013 at 10:31 AM ^

I'm surprised Miami/FSU didn't make the list.  Granted, it hasn't been as good as of late, but it is still better than some others and was insane for a good 15 years.

Come On Down

June 6th, 2013 at 10:38 AM ^

I think that rivalry is hurt by them not being in the same conference. They may dislike each other but each can basically ignore the other for all but one week of the year. Rivals that are in the same conference need to keep an eye on the other the whole season because each teams success or failure will have a direct impact on the other.

This is also why I would put UM/MSU above UM/ND in terms of significant rivals.