Rivalry Week Marks Unofficial End To College Football Season

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The college football season comes to an unofficial end this weekend, but in reality the following weekend will be the final game for some teams. Then again, the Army/Navy classic has been moved to December 12th in a bid to let that traditional season-ending showcase regain its spot in the national limelight.

college footballThis weekend’s action is known as rivalry week, where neighboring opponents and bitter rivals face off, with a coveted trophy at stake if not a league championship and post season bowl in the mix. The Big Ten had their rivalry week last weekend to close that conference’s season.

Let’s take a look at some of the important games for this weekend and the prizes awarded to the winner and/or the significance of these schools meeting:

Texas at Texas A&M – This game is just one of many contests for the Lone Star Showdown involving varsity action between these schools in men’s and women’s sports. Each time the teams meet, 1 point is awarded to the winner or a ½ point if they meet twice, such as in basketball.

Alabama at Auburn – The Tide will play Florida next week for the SEC championship, but they cannot afford to look past the Tigers in the annual Iron Bowl classic. Alabama leads this series 39–33–1.

Pittsburgh at West Virginia – First played in 1895, Pitt leads the Backyard Brawl series 61-37-3. This year’s Pitt team can win the Big East championship if they beat the Mountaineers and then knock of Cincinnati next week.

Clemson at South Carolina – The Gamecocks won the first meeting between these schools in 1896, but Clemson leads the series 65-37-4. Last year marked the 100th consecutive meeting between the schools, making it the longest uninterrupted football rivalry in the nation.

North Carolina at North Carolina State – UNC leads the Carolina–NC State rivalry 63-29-6. No trophy is given, but students play pranks on each other during the week leading up to the game.

Mississippi at Mississippi State – Ole Miss leads this delta rivalry by 60–39–6. Known as the Battle of the Golden Egg or Egg Bowl, a golden egg is awarded to the winner.

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State – What is now known as the Bedlam Rivalry started in 1904 between Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State) and the Sooners and is part of a larger Bedlam Series spanning several sports. In football, OU holds a commanding 79-15-8 lead.

Florida State at Florida – The Sunshine Showdown or “Battle for the Governor’s Cup” has the Gators up 32-19-2. Though first played in 1955, this game has turned out to be one of the fiercest rivalries of them all.

Virginia Tech at Virginia – The Hokies lead this rivalry 48-37-5. Football is just one of several varsity sports between the two schools, with the “Commonwealth Challenge” appellation assigned to these meetings.

Arizona at Arizona State – The annual “Duel in the Desert” started in 1899. Arizona leads the series 45-36-1. The Territorial Cup goes to the winner, recognized as the oldest trophy by the NCAA.

Missouri at Kansas – The former Border War is now the Border Showdown, pitting a pair of bitter rivals who first met in 1891. KU leads the series 55-53-9, but Missouri says it is tied at 54-54-9 pointing to a 1960 Kansas forfeit for using an ineligible player. In any case, the winner receives two awards – an Indian War Drum and the Lamar Trophy.

Utah at Brigham Young – Known as “The Holy War” this annual battle between Utah schools dates back to 1896 when BYU was known as Brigham Young Academy, a Mormon (LDS) school. It is a classic church v. state battle, but of the gridiron variety. Utah leads the series 53-33-4.

Washington at Washington State – Washington leads the series 64-31-6, but Washington State has had the Apple Cup for the past two years thanks to consecutive wins over the Huskies. The two teams first met in 1900.

Tennessee at Kentucky – They’re meeting for the 105th time and this year’s contest will be the first time the game is being played in the evening. The Volunteers have won the last 24 meetings and hold a 72-23-9 lead in the series.

Georgia at Georgia Tech – When these schools meet on the gridiron, it is called Clean, Old Fashioned Hate. The first game between the schools was played in 1893; Georgia leads the series 59-39-5.

Notre Dame at Stanford – The Legends Trophy is awarded to the winner of this game, consisting of Irish crystal and California redwood.

UCLA at USC – The winner of this game known by some as the “Los Angeles City Championship” gets to keep the Victory Bell for the next season. That bell comes from an old Southern Pacific locomotive and has been awarded annually for nearly seven decades. USC leads the series 42-28-7.

Most of the teams playing this weekend are playing for pride, with only #21 Utah v. #19 BrighamYoung matching up Top 25 teams.

Wikipedia, ESPN and Fox News Sports were used to confirm rivalries, records and awards.

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