Remember the great rivalries between Oklahoma-Nebraska & Miami-Florida State? Texas-Oklahoma, Ohio State-Michigan, Alabama-Auburn, Army-Navy, even Alabama-Tennessee & Florida-FSU..
Forget college football, when I think about the best rivalries in all of sports; I think of the Yankees-Red Sox, Lakers-Celtics, & Alabama-Florida.
Never in all my years of watching college football have I seen one game mean so much on the national scene as Alabama-Florida has over the past couple of years. Alabama & Florida has become one of the best rivalries in all of sports.
2008- Florida & Bama were ranked #1 and #2 in the Nation. Tebow went epic Tebow in the 4th qtr. and beat #1 ranked Bama to move on to the BCS title game. Florida went on to beat Oklahoma for the National Championship. Florida capped that season by knocking off two straight #1 ranked teams, that's a first.
2009- Bama & Florida ranked #1 and #2 again. This time it was Bama prevailing over #1 ranked Florida in a marvelous performance by Greg McElroy, but it was a team effort in the 32-13 rout of the Gators. Alabama went on to beat Texas for the National Championship. And Bama capped the season knocking off the #1 and then the #2 team, first ever undefeated National champion to do so.
That 2009 SEC championship game was the highest-rated non-bowl game on any network since the 2006 Ohio State-Michigan matchup with similar implications.
Expect much of the same this year from the impact of the Alabama-Florida 2 game series they will potentially play. Once during the season and again in the 2010 SEC title game. The faithful to other SEC schools besides Alabama & Florida might have something to say about that. But I just don't see anything else, but a battle for 3rd place for them.
The road to the National Championship goes through Atlanta, hence Alabama & Florida. And for as long as Meyer and Saban are at their current jobs, recruiting like they are.. then this is the way it will be for a while.
So move over Texas-Oklahoma, the game that most likely decides who gets beat by the SEC champ. Ohio State-Michigan, step aside and beware of Nebraska, and Rich Rod (the ghost that haunts Michigan.)
Sorry Auburn, You're not Alabama's biggest rival at this current time. Florida is. Sorry Florida State, Florida is not thinking about that easy win at the end of the season. They can't stop thinking about Bama, says Chris Rainey.
Rivalries change with time, take a look around the country. None are as big as Florida & Alabama right now. They are the Lakers and Celtics of college football.