Dumb ESPN article on rivalries

Submitted by Tha Stunna on November 19th, 2010 at 3:03 PM


It ranks the rivalries independent of tradition and history except over the last ten years.  Okay, that's a bit artificial, but as long as that is stated up front, that's fine.

Here are the problems:

10. Louisville-WVU

Any time five years of the rivalry are DNP, it's not a good rivalry.  I don't care that Louisville-WVU was big in '06; it hasn't meant anything since then.

8. Iowa-PSU

This isn't totally terrible, except it has never determined the conference champion since 2002 (and even that is a stretch because it was for the lesser share).  It's also too lopsided to matter.  I honestly think that Michigan-PSU (a mere pseudo-rivalry) would be a better choice.

6. Bama-Auburn

An egregious example of SEC-centric thinking by the football media.  Great, why don't I complain about the free press while I'm at it.

When has this game decided anything in the SEC?  Alabama just hasn't been very good for a significant portion of the decade.  The Iron Bowl is going to be awesome this year, sure, but that's mostly it - '09 was a pretty good game though.


This could be top five, sure, but it's the highest-ranked Big Ten rivalry on the list.  '05, '08, and '09 were great; beyond that, not so much.

2. Red River Shootout

I have mixed feelings about this one; it involves two good teams that are the overlords of their conference, yes.  The only real factor going against it is how the loser often wins the conference championship.  That's kind of a negative against a rivalry.  I guess it deserves its spot.

1. Florida-Alabama

WTF?  They've played FOUR times in the past decade.  The only times both teams were good was in '08 and '09.  Sure, those types of rivalry games for the BCS title game are pretty epic, but this is as bad as saying Red Sox-Yankees is the premier rivalry in baseball.  No long term memory was used here.  Two games with high stakes over ten years does not make for a good rivalry.

NR. Michigan-OSU

Michigan was down over the past two years.  Before that, we only have '07, '06, and '03 where both teams were playing for the championship, and '02, '06, '07 where the game had BCS championship implications.  Even when you throw out tradition and history, The Game has mattered a lot.  Yet, somehow it didn't make this list.


This list seems to be done in the same way that polls are; overweighting recent results while ignoring the big picture.  Very shameful.

On the plus side, Michigan-OSU will probably be #1 as soon as we win a national championship - since recent history is all that matters.  Actually, forget that: Michigan-Nebraska will be the top rivalry, once we've played two times in-conference.



November 19th, 2010 at 3:11 PM ^

I mean... Mark Schlabach wrote this, He's predicted M losses the last 2 years as his season opener upset alert. I expect nothing more than this from him. I shall carry on the rest of my day as if this article was never written.



November 19th, 2010 at 3:56 PM ^

It wasn't absurd at all at the time.  Many fans were nervous going into that game and many thought it could have been a coin flip.  Michigan was coming off a 3-9 season starting a true freshmen at quarterback and Western was coming off a decent 9-4 season.


While after the game it was absurd, before it wasn't out there at all.


November 19th, 2010 at 3:13 PM ^

I have no problem with the concept and leaving OSU-UM off due to the parmeters of his discussion, but his execution is all fail.   He doesn't take in consideration the actual 10 years.   The OP does a good job of blasting apart the article so there is not much more to say except when you go thru the 10 years despite our struggles recently the OSU/UM game should still be on the list.

I think he thought he had a good idea then after he researched and it didn't work he just tried to jam it into his theory anyway.  

Your job at the Freep should be ready in no time.

Dark Blue

November 19th, 2010 at 3:13 PM ^

Dumb ESPN Article on Rivalries.

If it is so dumb, why post it here? Not that I care, I thought it was semi interesting. I'm just curious as to your reasoning behind the title.


November 19th, 2010 at 3:17 PM ^

I think WVU/ Louiville as a higher rank than UM/OSU proves that this ranking is inherently flawed.

There seems to be a bit of a backlash and disrespect for "The Game" at a national level lately -- A win this year would right that wrong instantly. 


November 19th, 2010 at 3:21 PM ^

Dark Blue beat me to it.

Contrary to what some may believe, you are not obligated to share everything you find on the internet about Michigan here.


November 19th, 2010 at 3:21 PM ^

The Florida-Alabama makes even less sense now that Florida is only 6-4 and they got killed by Alabama 6-31!

In other news... Florida plays Appalachian State (9-1) on Saturday, I would love to see the Gators get beat down in the Swamp.


November 19th, 2010 at 3:42 PM ^

There are people that look at this list and are confused,

Mostly because he has rivalries on here that didnt play every year. How exactly is it a "rivalry of the decade" if you only played 6 or 7 times...


November 19th, 2010 at 3:55 PM ^

this rivalry has been so one-sided in one direction or the other for so long that it may be losing its luster for most outside of the two fanbases.  15 years of Michigan dominance followed by 10 of Ohio State doesn't make for much drama.


November 19th, 2010 at 4:47 PM ^

Wow something on ESPN that is sucking on the SEC.  4 of the 10 rivalries are from the SEC.  Screw the SEC.

My top ten rivlaries:  (in no particular order)

10. Army - Navy

9.  Michigan - Ohio State

8.  Navy - Army

7.  Ohio State - Michigan

6.  Annapolis - West Point

5.  University of Michigan - The Ohio State University

4.  Midshipmen - Golden Knights

3.  U of M - tOUS

2.  Guys on Ships Vs. Guys in Tanks

1.  The Good Guys Vs. The Evil Ones


November 19th, 2010 at 6:19 PM ^

10.  Catholics vs. Convicts.  (or protestants, when convicts are off the schedule)

9.  Rocky vs. Mr. T, especially when there's someone standing up to the challenge of our rivals

8.  Mailmen vs. Dogs

7.  Shaft vs. The Man

6.  Federer vs. Nadal

5.  Batman vs. Joker

4.  Robert Downey Jr.'s career  vs. controlled substances

3.  Barwis vs. Physical limits of the human body (of someone else)

2.  CIA vs. KGB back in the day. 

1.  Ali vs. Frazier. 


November 19th, 2010 at 5:35 PM ^

There is no such thing as a "Rivalry of the 2000s."   Fomer Supreme Court Justice and Nuremberg Prosecutor Robert Jackson, while Attorney General said in 1940 :

“The qualities of a good prosecutor are as elusive and as impossible to define as those which mark a gentleman. And those who need to be told would not understand it anyway."

As with a rivalry. 


November 19th, 2010 at 5:43 PM ^

Not to be nitpicky, but the Michigan-OSU game had BCS title implications in 2003.  OSU, I believe, was ranked number 2 in the BCS the week they played us.  If they would've won, they would've stayed at number 2.

So, a rivalry where a birth to the BCS title game was decided in four out of the past ten years (even when our team has been down) doesn't make a list?  Your original point is correct...complete B.S.