The Top 10 College Football Rivalries You May Have Never Heard Of
Everybody knows about the Red River Rivalry, the Ohio State/Michigan Rivalry, and "The Game" between Harvard and Yale.
But do you know about the Apple Cup? The Egg Bowl? The Battle for the Iron Skillet?
What follows is the top ten college football rivalries that you may not have heard of.
10. Egg Bowl: Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State
(First meeting: 1901) This rivalry is actually the tenth-oldest uninterrupted series in the nation.
The trophy, known as the "Golden Egg Award," is actually a trophy established by the students of both colleges so the fans of the winning school didn't take the goalposts.
There is extremely bad blood between the two schools as fights have broken out constantly.
Last Meeting: 2008. Ole Miss won 45-0, the third highest margin of the rivalry. The Bulldogs crossed the 50-yard line only once and were held to only 37 yards total. The loss led to Mississippi State Head Coach Sylvester Croom's resignation the next day.
Overall Record: Ole Miss leads the series 60-39-6.
9. Crab Bowl: Maryland vs. Navy
(1905-2005, will resume in 2010) You may not have heard of this rivalry because it's only been played once this decade (in 2005). This game is best known for an incident in the 1964 game, in which Maryland linebacker Jerry Fishman flipped off the Brigade of Midshipmen not once, but twice.
Navy coach Wayne Hardin called the incident "a disgrace to college football."
After the incident, the contract for the series was allowed to lapse but was revived in 2005. Plans are being made to renew the rivalry in 2010.
Last meeting: 2005. Maryland won 23-20, in a game that was marred by Maryland turnovers and Navy penalties. After that, Maryland and Navy were matched up in bowl games twice but the Terrapins rejected both invitations.
Overall record: Navy leads the series, 14-6.
8. Battle for the Rag: LSU vs. Tulane
(First meeting: 1893) The original flag designated as the traveling trophy for this rivalry was made to foster peace between the two colleges after a riot broke out following the game in 1938.
Tulane actually won the first meeting in 1893 but has never had a streak longer than three (not counting ties).
The last time the Green Wave defeated the Tigers was 1982, when they defeated them, 31-28, in Baton Rouge. Since then, LSU is on a 17-game winning streak in this series.
Last Meeting: 2008. LSU won 35-10, holding Tulane to 72 rushing yards on 30 carries. The Green Wave scored its only touchdown on an interception return by linebacker Travis Burks in the fourth quarter when the game was already well in hand.
Overall Record: LSU leads the series, 68-22-7.
7. Battle for the Iron Skillet: TCU vs. SMU
(First meeting: 1915) This rivalry dates back to the early 1900's, but there's a funny story behind the trophy.
In the 1950s, an SMU fan was frying up some frog's legs before the game as an act of gamesmanship.
TCU fans, seeing the "desecration" of the frog, said the winner of the game would get both the skillet and the frog's legs. TCU won and the rest, as they say, is history.
Last Meeting: 2008. TCU won, 48-7.
Overall Record: TCU leads the series, 40-39-7.
6. Arch Rivalry: Illinois vs. Missouri
(First meeting: 1896) Currently, the matchup is the first game of the season for both teams until 2010. Since 2002, the game has been played in St. Louis.
Missouri has dominated since then, winning every game played at the Edward Jones Dome. Missouri has also won the last four meetings and holds the longest streak in the series with five games between 1949 and 1975.
Last Meeting: 2008. Missouri won 52-42. The two teams combined for over 1,000 total yards as receiver, Jeremy Maclin, took a kickoff 99 yards and a punt 45 yards for touchdowns.
Overall Record: Missouri leads the series, 15-7.
5. Apple Cup: Washington vs. Washington St.
(First meeting: 1900) Before 1962, the Huskies and Cougars played for the Governor's Trophy until it was named the Apple Cup for Washington State's famous apple crop.
Usually, this is the final game of the season between the two teams. Although Washington University leads the season series, Washington State has won four of the last five meetings.
Last Meeting: 2008. Washington State won, 16-13. This game was extremely close, considering that the Huskies were winless and the Cougars were en route to setting a Pac-10 record for points surrendered.
Kicker Nico Grasu made a 30-yard field goal in the second overtime to send the Huskies on their way to the first 0-12 season in conference history.
Overall Record: Washington leads the series, 64-31-6.
4. The Battle for the Keg of Nails: Cincinnati vs. Louisville
(First meeting: 1929) Known more for their games on the hardwood than on the gridiron, the Bearcats and Cardinals play for a replica of an actual barrel of nails, implying the winning team is as "tough as nails."
Ironically enough, Louisville lost the original Keg when the college undertook construction of office facilities. This rivalry is the oldest for the Cardinals and the second-oldest for Cincinnati, only behind their series with Miami of Ohio.
Last Meeting: 2008. Cincinnati won 28-20. Receiver Dominick Goodman caught nine passes for 134 yards and a touchdown, which tied a school record. Louisville quarterback Hunter Cantwell threw for 204 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort.
Overall record: Cincinnati leads the series, 26-20-1.
3. Battle for the Old Brass Spittoon: Indiana vs. Michigan St.
(First meeting: 1950) It is believed that the trophy has been around since both colleges were establshed, which is around the early 1800s.
It is one of the lesser known rivalries in the Big Ten and, because the two teams have not exactly been stellar as of late, it usually falls by the wayside when people talk about rivalries.
Last Meeting: 2008. Michigan State won, 42-29. Spartan running back Javon Ringer rushed for 198 yards and a touchdown in a wacky game. There were two safeties, three replays, a blocked punt, and both quarterbacks threw career-long touchdown passes.
Overall record: Michigan State leads the series, 40-12-1.
2. Battle for the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk: Northwestern vs. Illinois
(1945-2008) Because of the NCAA's new mandate against all "hostile and abusive" images of Indian culture, the 2008 edition of the rivalry was the last.
It's been established that Northwestern will keep the trophy and they will fight for another trophy starting next season.
The original trophy was actually a cigar store Indian, but when that was stolen, the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk was used instead.
Last Meeting: 2008. Northwestern won, 27-10. Northwestern sacked Illinois quarterback Juice Williams five times as the 2008 Wildcats became only the fifth team in school history to win at least nine games and the first since 1996.
Overall record: Illinois won the series, 33-29-2.
1. Battle for the Ram-Falcon Trophy: Air Force vs. Colorado St.
(First meeting: 1980) The trophy was suggested by a former ROTC commander at Colorado State. He suggested the trophy to depict his symbolic impressions of the game, which shows a ram and a falcon (the mascots of the two intra-state schools) in combat.
The trophy usually sits behind the bench of last year's winner during the game.
Last Meeting: 2008. Air Force won, 38-17. The Falcons racked up 455 yards of total offense with 284 of those rushing. Rams quarterback Billy Farris threw for 251 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort.
Overall record: Air Force leads the series, 27-19-1.