10 of College Football's Hottest Emerging Rivalries
We all know the classics: Ohio State vs. Michigan, Oklahoma vs. Texas, Alabama vs. Auburn.
But what about some of the rivalries that aren't so classic, or if they are, died off before recently making a comeback?
I've put together my list of 10 of the hottest emerging rivalries in college football, along with a temperature gauge on just how how they really are. I put no specific order on these.
Feel free to add which rivalries you think should be added to the list in the comment section.
TCU vs. Utah (simmering)
Average margin of victory the past three meetings: 12.3
For the past two years, this game has more-or-less decided the winner of the Mountain West Conference, each time sending the victor to the Bowl Championship Series.
Gary Patterson and Kyle Whittingham are the two most respected coaches in the MWC and have both of their programs on track to fight for another BCS berth in 2010. With the conference not having a standard championship game, this meeting might as well serve as one.
Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech (lukewarm)
Average margin of victory the past three meetings: 15.6 (OSU 2-1)
Some of the Cowboys' greatest games of the past decade have been against Texas Tech. This is a rivalry that always seems to favor the home team, even if that school is having a down year.
With discussions of moving this game to the new Cowboys Stadium, it's obvious that this game is big for each school. This season should be even more interesting as Tommy Tubberville takes over in Lubbock and the Pokes are without Zac Robinson and Dez Bryant—can it live up to the hype?
Plus, who can forget Mike Gundy's famous "I'm a man, I'm 40!" rant after the Cowboys topped the Red Raiders in 2007? He has kids!
Tulsa vs. Rice (tepid)
Average margin of victory the past three meetings: 18.3 (Tulsa 3-0)
While these haven't been the closest games the past few years, there's no doubt that Tulsa and Rice have a bit of hate for each other.
Golden Hurricane head coach Todd Graham.
Graham spent 2003-2005 as the assistant head coach at Tulsa under Steve Kragthorpe before taking the HC gig at Rice for one season in 2006, taking the Owls to the New Orleans Bowl.
When Kragthorpe bolted for Louisville at the end of the 2006 season, TU was searching for a new skipper and Graham was their man.
Tulsa has had two 10+ win seasons since Graham took over in 2007 and hasn't lost to Rice, but just ask the Owls' marching band ... no one at Rice likes Graham.
Stanford vs. USC (boiling)
Average margin of victory the past three meetings: 19 (Stanford 2-1)
When Stanford went to USC to pull its 24-23 upset in 2007, the college football world could not have been more surprised as it was only the second win for the Cardinal all year, who would finish the season with four.
In 2008, USC headed to northern California to make things right, and did so by thumping the Cardinal 45-23.
Not to be outdone, in 2009 Stanford did the same, Rocking the No. 9 Trojans 55-21.
This is becoming the game to watch in the Pac-10 and that won't change in 2010, especially with Lane Kiffin at the helm in LA. He's sure to give Jim Harbaugh's boys a bulletin board quote or two before these teams square off in Stanford on Oct. 9.
Colorado State vs. Big Sky Conference (tepid)
Average margin of victory the past three meetings: 9.3
I admit I have a bit of a biased insight on this, but all MWC fans know about the Rams' issues with the FCS lately. For whatever reason Colorado State has trouble with opponents from the FCS. In particular, the Big Sky Conference.
In 2007, head coach Steve Fairchild's first year, the Rams used timely forced turnovers and field goals to squeak past a mediocre Sacramento State squad and in 2009, a botched snap by Weber State inside the 5 yard line allowed CSU to luck out.
The Rams won't play any FCS teams in 2010, but in 2011, Big Sky opponent Northern Colorado, located only a half hour from Fort Collins, will come to Hughes Stadium to contest CSU.
The Bears hold the bragging rights on the basketball court the past few years, if they won in football, CSU might never live it down.
Arkansas vs. Texas A&M (lukewarm)
Average margin of victory the past three meetings: 9.3 (TAMU 2-1)
The old Southwest Conference got a reboot of a classic rivalry in 2009 when Arkansas and Texas A&M faced each other at the new Cowboys Stadium on October 3, 2009.
The Hogs came out on top, dominating the Aggies 47-19.
While it may not have the same heat we're used to from Arkansas and the Texas Longhorns, you can't deny the historic blood between these two SWC schools. In each university's lone AP national championship season, the crown winner defeated the rival school earlier in the year.
The groundwork is laid for this rivalry to continue through 2018.
Arkansas leads the all-time series 39-24-3.
Connecticut vs. Rutgers (luke warm)
Average margin of victory the past three meetings: 8.3 (Rutgers 2-1)
We all know about the heat between the two women's basketball programs, but things aren't nice and friendly on the gridiron either, mainly because these two programs have started to rise the past five years.
Since 2003, Rutgers owns the series lead 4-3. In that period, the only blow out win came by UConn, who won by 19 in 2007. Other than that, there has only been one double-digit victory between the two schools.
Iowa vs. Penn State (simmering)
Average margin of victory the past three meetings: 10.7 (Iowa 3-0)
A good Big Ten battle that has been dominated by the Hawkeyes in the past decade.
In the past seven years, there has been only one blow out (2007) as some of the college football season's greatest games have been between these two schools, including the 6-4 defensive struggle in 2004 won by the Hawkeyes.
Since 2002, Iowa leads the series 5-1 and has defeated a Top 10-ranked Penn State team on three occasions during that time span, twice in Happy Valley.
Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh (simmering)
Average margin of victory the past three meetings: 5 (Cincinnati 2-1)
If 2009 in the Big East taught us anything, it's that the Backyard Brawl between Pittsburgh and West Virginia isn't the only heated affairs the Panthers partake in.
One of the greatest games of the 2009 season was between No. 5 Cincinnati and No. 15 Pittsburgh at Heinz Field.
All of the Bearcats' hope of continuing their undefeated season and earning a BCS bid was riding on this game and Tony Pike answered Cinci's prayers with a 29 yard pass to Armon Binns with 33 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to tie the game, grabbing the lead on the PAT.
Since 2005, the River City Rivalry has been won by Pitt three times, but Cincinnati has taken the last two.
Navy vs. Notre Dame (boiling)
Average margin of victory the past three meetings: 4 (Navy 2-1)
Not many people expected this rivalry to reemerge as a fun game to watch, but two of college football's top independent programs are turning their battle into an epic show.
Navy has won two of the past three meeting against the Fighting Irish, both of which came in South Bend. When Notre Dame pulled out a victory in 2008 at Annapolis, it only came by a six-point margin.
This season, the game will be moved to New Jersey as the two kickoff a nationally televised game on CBS at the Meadowlands on Oct. 23.
Who knew boring uniforms and helmets colliding could be so fun to watch?