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Monday, November 24, 2008

College Rivalries

College Football Rivalries: A few that have impact on this season's BCS outcome... and a few that don't.

The NCAA college football season wouldn't be complete without the bitter rivalries that usually play out towards the end of the seasons. Many of these games have large implications on the final BCS rankings which thrusts them into the national spotlight. Inevitably, there are also a few that have never mattered for much more then bragging rights between a state school and a university. Many of these rivalries date back to the late 1800's or early 1900's - so you can bet these games have meanings to both teams involved that goes far beyond national title hopes.

Here is a break down of a few of this years rivalry games (some have already played out), and the history behind them.

Red River Rivalry - Oklahoma and Texas

· Rivalry inception - 1900

· Trophy - The Golden Hat

· All-time record - Oklahoma 40, Texas 58, Ties 5

· This year's game was played on October 11th with then #1 Oklahoma losing to then #5 Texas 45-35 in Dallas.

· Along with the Golden Hat, a Red River Rivalry trophy has been exchanged between the two student governments, the governors of Texas and Oklahoma also exchange the Governor's trophy while often laying a side bet of a side of beef (donated to charity) on the game.

Little Brown Jug - Minnesota and Michigan

· Rivalry inception - 1892

· Trophy - The Little Brown Jug

· All-time record - Michigan 66, Minnesota 22, Ties 3

· This year's game was played on October 8th with Michigan defeating Minnesota 29-6 in Minneapolis.

· The Little Brown Jug is the oldest continuous trophy and rivalry game in college football. Not without controversy though, as some contend the Arizona vs. Arizona St. Territorial Cup game has it beat.

Deep South's Oldest Rivalry - Auburn and Georgia

· Rivalry inception - 1892 (1898)

· Trophy - none

· All-time record - Auburn 53, Georgia 51, Ties 8

· This year's game was played on November 15th with Georgia edging Auburn 17-13 in Auburn.
· Though the first game was played in 1892, it wasn't until six years later in 1898 that this rivalry became a constant. This rivalry boasts the most even W/L record with this many (112) games played.

Bedlam Series - Oklahoma and Oklahoma State

· Rivalry inception - 1904

· Trophy - The Bedlam Bell

· All-time record - Oklahoma 78, Oklahoma State 16, Ties 7.

· This year's game will be played on November 29th and has massive BCS implications.

· The first game in this rivalry may have been a precursor to the lopsidedness of this rivalry - Oklahoma won that game 75-0. Also of note in this rivalry was that the 1972 results (OU, win) were thrown out due to recruiting violations by Oklahoma.

Civil War - Oregon and Oregon State

· Rivalry inception - 1894

· Trophy - Platypus Trophy

· All-time record - Oregon 55, Oregon State 46, Ties 10.

· This year's game will be played on November 29th and has some implications in the BCS standings. Not for Oregon or Oregon State, but rather for the team's that have lost to Oregon State (USC) - or beat them (Penn St.).

· If Oregon State wins, they will most likely represent the PAC-10 in the Rose Bowl, where they would likely face Penn State - in hopes of extracting revenge for any early season loss to the Nittnay Lions in Happy Valley.

Apple Cup - Washington and Washington State

· Rivalry inception - 1901

· Trophy - Apple Cup

· All-time record - Washington 64, Washington State, 30, Ties 6.

· This year's game will be played on November 22nd and finds both teams doing as bad as either school has ever done.

· At 0-10, the University of Washington may be facing its last chance to get a victory in the 2008 season, as they travel to California in their final week. For Washington State, simply knowing they could send the Huskies to a winless season should do more then enough to add to the excitement of this bitter rivalry.

Again, this is just a sampling of the many college football rivalries you can find throughout the season. Without a doubt many are more meaningful then others - but don't let that take away from the pride and excitement that can be found throughout any campus during the week of an upcoming rivalry game.

Heisman Hopeful

People in the media always seem to feign confusion when pondering who to vote for in individual awards races.

The Heisman Trophy is meant to go to the "Most Outstanding Player," and with that in mind, here are my picks for who should be the top contenders:

2008 Heisman Trophy Contenders and Pick

1. Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech-

18 touchdowns, over 1,000 yards yet again, and that Heisman-caliber highlight catch to win the Texas game. Sounds like a Heisman Trophy resume to me, doesn't it? Plus, from a pure talent standpoint, he beats his teammate Graham Harrell.

2. Percy Harvin, Florida-

Tim Tebow gets all the love, but if I'm a defensive coordinator, I'm worried about Harvin. He takes handoffs and runs untouched away from defenders. He averages an unreal 9.2 yards per carry. He also has 14 total TD's and his speed and talent opens up the field for his teammates. He is the most outstanding player on one of the nation's best teams.

3. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech-

Great QB, great year. Amazing stats as well, but he doesn't jump out at you like Crabtree does. Jerry Rice was probably a better overall player and a more outstanding player than Joe Montana, too. But Harrell is a worthy Heisman winner if Texas Tech keeps winning.

4. Colt McCoy-

He has become a better runner and passer this year for a Texas team that still might sneak into the BCS Title game and he's a worthy Heisman candidate for sure.

5. Tim Tebow, Florida-

He's a great QB who can throw the ball better than people give him credit for, and he also has a unique style with his power running. This is only his second year as a starting QB and he is dominating for the Gators.