Who considers us their Main Rival?

Submitted by MGoDC on November 17th, 2012 at 6:11 PM

So, TV during the game the announcing crew mentioned that Iowa's seniors were trying to go 4-0 against their "main rival." They did mention that it is not mutual, which, duh, but this was news to me none the less. I also figured Iowa viewed Wisconsin or Iowa State or some other corn school their rival (not Nebraska since they havent played much until recently). In terms of teams I know of, and assuming the announcers are correct, the teams that consider us their #1 rival are:





And then Notre Dame generally views USC as their main rival, although my coworkers (many ND alums) did mention that lately they've hated Michigan much more because of the nature of the 2009-11 wins.

Aside from those 4 teams, what other teams consider Michigan their "main rival" if any? Is there any other team in college football that is seen as the main rival of FOUR teams? Two I can understand, but 4-5 (depending how you view ND) seems absolutely ridiculous. Why on earth would Iowa/Illinois try to hitch up to Michigan when its clearly never going to be a legitimate rivalry?


Perkis-Size Me

November 17th, 2012 at 6:57 PM ^

if iowa and illinois think that we are their biggest rival, that's absolutely sad. that having been said, i'd think iowa considers wisconsin a bigger rival, and illinois, maybe northwestern. but then again, who wants to be rivals with northwestern?


November 17th, 2012 at 7:08 PM ^

but alot hate us most after their main rival




Penn State - yes they hate them some Michigan

ND- I would say we were #2 on their hate meter

Iowa- Id say were #2 for teams they dont like as well

Again I dont know if you can call us their rivals.. but as far as hate goes..I think we are probably the most hated team in the conference....which is a product of winning so im cool with it.


November 17th, 2012 at 7:53 PM ^

I am a grad student at Iowa. No one there really cares about Michigan. People hate Ohio more than Michigan, because, come on, Ohio. Minnesota is considered a bigger rival. Nebraska is considered the big B1G rivalry, but Iowa State is the real rivalry. So, ESPN is full of shit.


November 17th, 2012 at 8:19 PM ^

Forgot to mention:

- EMU (vicious whirlyball games)
- Slippery Rock (battle for crowd affection)
- Racine College (still angry over first-ever UM win)

It's a do-eat-dog world and I'm wearing milk bone underwear.


November 17th, 2012 at 10:33 PM ^

Illinois fans definitely want there to be a rivalry, probably because a lot of their students are only there because they didn't get in/couldn't afford to go here 


November 17th, 2012 at 10:34 PM ^

Illinois fans definitely want there to be a rivalry, probably because a lot of their students are only there because they didn't get in/couldn't afford to go here 


November 23rd, 2012 at 5:54 AM ^

We're No. 1

  • Ohio State obviously. Reciprocated.
  • Michigan State obviously. They even make claims like they're our #1 rival in all sports but football to try to get some reciprocation.

Some of the their fans think we're no. 1 but we're not:

  • Illinois. This one is just weird, as Illinois is. Officially their top rival is Northwestern, but as you can imagine the Wildcats aren't now or historically the most game for a hootin' angry time. Most of their fans put us right after Northwestern, plenty have told me we're first.
  • Wisconsin. At one point they were one Michigan loss from national title talk for several years running under Alvarez, and the Wisconsin fans I know were universal in their hatred for Michigan. They hated that we would never acknowledge their big backs as the best in the Big Ten, and were only vaguely interested in the Minnesota rivalry (like us, more out of tradition than any excitement brought from it) and even less interested in keeping up their end of the hate circle with Iowa. We're still up there among teams Wisconsin fans want to murderate, though Michigan State lately has been climbing those ranks.

We're not No. 1 at all but we're a bigger rival to their fans than their school admits:

  • Notre Dame puts us between 2 and 5. USC is hands-down their top rival as OSU is for us. Then there's two historical rivals with trophies, in order Boston College and Michigan State. There is also the proximity rivalry with Purdue. Michigan was reinserted into that mess after many years of not playing each other, and while over the last 20 years the fans have generally raised us to No. 2 since that game makes or breaks an ND season right out of the gate, it hasn't attained that kind of official status, and their front office--who are the most petty ND fans out there--canceled the series because it was worth less to them than any of the above plus Stanford.
  • Iowa has a good thing going with Michigan. As for other teams we're a belwether for just how good they are and they've won a good many important games in recent years. This is a simmering mutual respect rivalry on our side what with MSC and the Bump connection and Lloyd sitting in their box and Soup Campbell and two programs trying to be the good guys and not rub everyone's noses in it. From their perspective Michigan is the team they have to topple to be on top of the conference again.
  • Nebraska fans were looking forward to playing Michigan more than any other Big Ten rival. They feel beating Tennessee and the Manning Child was worth being No. 1 and begrudge Michigan the shared NC in '97. The only other thing to go on was the Alamo Bowl, when they almost got Tromboned and Michigan fans tweaked them about the officiating and all the argggh. This is like the nice guy in the office who you only seem to come across on your worst days.

We're no. 1 to eight octogenarians who meet on Wednesdays at Olde Windy's:

  • University of Chicago. I wonder when the last Maroon dies will it still matter. Apparently there is still a dedicated chapter of people who keep the memory of Chicago athletics alive, and they are still not happy about us cheering with might and main over their sorrows.

A rivalry usually just worn for the benefit of history until you mention 2003 then DIEEEE!!!!

  • Minnesota. The Brown Jug game is one of our favorites because we usually win, it highlights all of our great history and tradition, and their fans were the nicest in the Big Ten until Nebraska joined. From their point of view it's under Wisconsin and Iowa keeps the flame for Floyd alive more than Minny does because the Hawkeyes tend to lose that game more than they should. Using the "would you rather beat..." standard will get you false results. We're 2nd to some, 3rd to most. If someone's on the edge, mention 2003.


  • Central Michigan claims a rivalry with Michigan State. But did you know Eastern Michigan claims Michigan as one of their rivals? No, because EMU doesn't really have fans. However for a time when Ron English's staff was just starting out and the guy who'd summarily dismissed them from their God-ordained place down Washtenaw was running Michigan, there was some hate going on. It died when the guy did.