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Alabama vs. LSU: Ranking the SEC Rivalry Amongst the Best in College Football

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 09:  Jordan Jefferson #9 and the Louisiana State University Tigers line up against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 9, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Mike ShiekmanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2017

The Alabama Crimson Tide and LSU Tigers may currently have the top rivalry in college football.

Last season, the first matchup wasn't enough; an Alabama-LSU rematch won out over an Oklahoma State national championship bid. Now, LSU looks for revenge in front of LSU nation at Tiger Stadium.

That rivalry got me thinking of the top rivalries in college football today. In my ranking, talent level, bad blood and recent history are all factored in.

 

No. 4: Florida-Florida State

This battle in Northern Florida has not featured two top teams for a while, but this season looks to be the first Top 10 matchup in over 10 years.

The Gators and Seminoles have never lacked talent, but their annual November date usually exposes one of the teams by their regular-season finale.

Many of the most talented players in the nation are on these rosters, and a BCS bowl may be on the line.

 

No. 3: Texas-Oklahoma

The Red River Shootout has become one of the premier midseason rivalries in college football.

It’s the one game everyone recognizes as the best 12 p.m. matchup of the year. I look at Oklahoma vs. Texas as the season’s midpoint, mainly because we have an idea where the Big 12 is headed.

Even though Texas has had some issues beating Oklahoma in recent seasons, both teams usually come into the matchup with talent and a Top 25 ranking.

 

No. 2: Michigan-Ohio State

This end-of-the-year rivalry has some history on its side; they’ve been playing against one another since 1897.

I don’t value history as a main factor in the rankings, but it does come into account when recent history has almost been as good as advertised.

The coaches used to be the centerpiece in this rivalry, which made it even more compelling. From Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes to Urban Meyer and Brady Hoke, we may have another pair of dynamic coaches that will push the rivalry into the top spot.

From the No. 1 vs. No. 2 battle four years ago to Terrelle Pryor vs. Denard Robinson to even Michigan’s ascension last season, the Midwest clash is always must-see TV.

 

No. 1: Alabama-LSU

In terms of top talent and bad blood, no rivalry can hang with Alabama and LSU. There’s a reason the SEC battle has been host to College GameDay for the last four out of five years.

Hopefully another historic chapter will be added after Saturday’s battle. Much of that will fall on Zach Mettenberger and LSU’s offense to be able to put up some points against the vaunted Alabama defense.

We are going to learn a lot about the college football world in Death Valley, and there will most certainly be fireworks before the final whistle.

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