January 13th, 2014 at 1:02 PM ^

I lived in Virginia for a long time and all the Redskins fans there hated the Cowboys, but I don't think it's on the same plane as M-OSU. There's just a lot more hatred and passion in college sports where many of the fans are students and alums, and the players aren't just mercenaries (i.e. they chose to be a part of that school, its traditions, and its rivalries)


January 13th, 2014 at 12:31 PM ^

to talking football with two fishermen. (I had mentioned I live in Tallahassee, and in the course of talk I admitted I couldn't root for FSU no matter what because of those 90s losses.) When they heard I was a Michigan fan they immediately piped up about M-OSU. It's a thing, and the rest of the nation knows it.  


January 13th, 2014 at 12:44 PM ^

My vote would be for Madrid/Barcelona.  The history, politics, and sheer quality over the course of several decades makes this the biggest rivalry out there.  If you don't like soccer, fair enough, but if you are an objective observer of all sports and sports rivalries, this should be at the top of the list.  

On a smaller international scale, but probably bigger in Argentina you should also include Boca and River Plate.  Though those teams have both been inconsistent in recent years.  


January 13th, 2014 at 1:21 PM ^

... if the criteria is appointment television for US viewers, which it was implicitely given the chosen teams.  If it is for overall viewership, there is no debate about Barca/Madrid.  

Given that piece of the criteria was implicit vs. explicit, I wanted to call out that there are much bigger rivalries worldwide that have been excluded.  That's all.  


January 13th, 2014 at 2:15 PM ^

in Scotland, Celtics versus Rangers.

Basically all rivalries start locally and if they need good teams on both sides - consider, once Pistons versus Bulls was a great NBA rivalry when both had good teams, today it would be lucky to sell half the tickets. Harvard Yale football is a big deal for the FB fans at those schools but outside of that - no one really care. We just need to a contendor for the Big Ten Championship again and then all of the rivalries will become important again. Right now unfortunately we just aren't in the hunt.

Chuck Norris

January 13th, 2014 at 12:52 PM ^

I really feel like Bama Auburn should top the list at the moment. The winner of that game has gone to the National Championship game EVERY YEAR FOR THE PAST FUVE YEARS. Let that sink in.


January 13th, 2014 at 12:59 PM ^

I guess I can see why they are on the list, but objectively I don't think they should. As mentioned by others, they play each other a lot compared to the other rivalry games. I think that dilutes the "rivalry spirit" over more games.

I watched a Yankees-Red Sox game a couple. Honestly, it looked like a lot of other baseball games: a bunch of overpaid, unathletic, steroid juiced, un-spirited drivel. Those players don't play for a team (like in college), they play for a contract.


January 13th, 2014 at 1:23 PM ^

I'm sure there are many who will disagree that Michigan-OSU should be on the list because of the recent domination, but I say the passion still matches a rivalry that had been 50/50 for the last twenty years. I don't know any Ohio State fans (and I know a few from living there 2-1/2 years) who care any less about the Game than they always have. It's one thing for the side who have been on the losing end to care, it's telling when the dominating side is still marking it as the most important game on the schedule. 


January 13th, 2014 at 1:27 PM ^

Arsenal and Tottenham; Manchester United and Manchester City.  Baratheon and Targaryen also have had a heated rivalry; but I don't think that ESPN carries their matches anymore.  Haven't seen them on HBO in a while. Maybe they're on The Ocho with Average Joe's and Globo Gym.


January 13th, 2014 at 1:32 PM ^

I just want someone to explain to me why, if Auburn's name is the Tigers, they go with this War Eagle silliness...  Are they Tigers or Eagles?  Or is that they don't like that Bama has their "Roll Tide" limited syllable slogan so Auburn needs one too...  And if there is a legit reason for War Eagle, why not just change your name to Eagles and leave behind Tigers altogether?  Oddness.


January 13th, 2014 at 1:39 PM ^

I've felt they should change their name to the War Eagles for a while. They have the LSU and Mizzou Tigers as well, so it would help differentiate. Eagle is the most common mascot (probably actually behind the collective Native American mascots), so at least War Eagles would separate them from everyone else.

Perkis-Size Me

January 13th, 2014 at 2:06 PM ^

I think you're underestimating how many Sox and Yankees fans there are. One could make the argument that they're the two biggest fanbases in the MLB. The Yankees, especially.


January 13th, 2014 at 2:10 PM ^

I don't think any pro rivalries deserve to be on this list. They're way too cyclical in terms of interest and competitiveness. Red Wings-Avalanche was one of the greatest pro sports rivalries of all time and it faded away, and didn't really exist before the mid 90s. But when it was going on, it was better than most rivalries IMO. You just get a different feel for college rivalries. From my own experience, you can just feel the anticipation, passion and hatred before, during and after the game. Doesn't matter if it is OSU-Michigan, Toledo-Bowling Green, Arizona-Arizona St, service academies etc. Those just feel more real and consistent no matter what the circumstances are for either team. Bears-Packers is good when both teams are good. Red Sox-Yankees is great during pennant races and the playoffs. Same with Celtics-Lakers. I would say the only pro sport rivalries that have that same feel are in soccer. Those feel more like the college rivalries to me than they do like the American pro-sport rivalries.

The closest to the college rivalries are probably Red Sox-Yankees, Maple Leafs-Canadians and a couple others. But I still think they pale in comparison to college rivalries.


January 13th, 2014 at 3:55 PM ^

I don't know how they can say Boston versus New York is the best rivalry. They play each other, what, 20 or 30some times per regular season and then sometimes in the playoffs? That is why baseball rivalries are a joke; pro basketball, too. They play to often, which takes away some of the magic of rivalries.


January 13th, 2014 at 9:34 PM ^

As others have mentioned, it just doesn't seem rational to place as much significance on rivalries at the professional level.

If a player gets traded from the Ravens to the Steelers or from the Yankees to the Red Sox does that mean they all of a sudden develop a strong disliking for their former team and teammates overnight?

Brewers Yost

January 14th, 2014 at 9:10 AM ^

I think rivalries should be broken down into Traditional vs. Temporary (for lack of a better term).

For me outside of Michigan OSU most of the traditional rivalries don't interest me that much. Army Navy would probably be second on my list.

I much prefer what I will call temporary rivalries were you have 2 teams that are really really good at the same time (obviously this can happen with traditionals too). For example Red Wings and Avalanche during the late 90s was great while it lasted. The teams hated each other and were very good.