The 21st Century’s 12 Most One-Sided Big-Time Rivalries In College Football
Earlier in the week, we showed you the top ten most one-sided big-time college basketball rivalries of the 21st century. Though the college football season has already wrapped up, we figured we’d show you what the pigskin edition would look like.
If you’re a fan of a team on the below list, you either take great pride in your program’s dominance of your rival or experience the same heartbreak on almost an annual basis. As mentioned above, this list takes into account all games played in the 21st century – meaning we started with the year 2001. It’s entirely possible that the team on the losing side of one of the below rivalries actually leads the all-time series.
For tiebreakers, we considered the scores of the games that the overall victor lost. In short, a close loss outweighs a blowout loss. WIthout further ado, the 21st century’s 12 most one-sided big-time college football rivalries:
12. Oregon leads Oregon State, 9-4
As recently as 2007, the Beavers actually owned the lead in this series (for the 21st century). But Oregon’s resurgence under Chip Kelly (along with some fresh uniforms) made the Ducks one of the nation’s most premier programs. Since the start of the 2008 season, Oregon has rattled off six straight wins against its in-state rival.
This past year’s game was probably the most exciting, as Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota hooked up with wideout Josh Huff for a game-winning touchdown with just 29 seconds to play.
11. Kansas State leads Kansas, 9-4
Casual football fans may be surprised to see that Kansas has actually won four games against Kansas State during the era. But the Jayhawks actually had a decent program back in the mid-to-late-2000s, before Mark Mangino’s alleged misconduct towards his players forced the program to move on.
K-State has won the past five matchups between the two foes – four of which were blowouts. Moving forward, unless Kansas can start to turn things around, expect more of the same.
10. USC leads Notre Dame, 9-4
The crazy thing here? Notre Dame has won three of the past four, yet still finds itself on this list. Between 2002 and 2009, the Trojans ran off eight straight victories, all while they were ranked in the top ten in the country.
In three of the matchups between the two schools, both USC and Notre Dame were ranked in the top ten. In all nine USC victories, the Trojans scored at least 30 points.
9. Texas leads Texas A&M, 8-3
…and until the two schools agree to play each other again, that’s where the 21st century record will stay. To be fair, Texas A&M’s move to the SEC allowed the Longhorns to avoid playing against Johnny Manziel the last two years – but hey, that wouldn’t have necessarily guaranteed the Aggies victory.
In the Longhorns eight victories, they were ranked in the top ten seven times. Only one of the Aggies’ victories – in 2010 – was not considered an upset.
8. Oklahoma leads Oklahoma State, 10-3
Contrary to popular belief, the Bedlam Series has always been one of the most one-sided rivalries in sports. The Sooners lead the Cowboys 84-17-7 all time – a ridiculous margin. The 21st century was a microcosm of the entire series, as the Sooners have taken 10 of 13 from their in-state rival.
OSU got off to a hot start in the century, knocking off two OU teams ranked in the top five. But the Cowboys have only won once since, in 2011 when they themselves were ranked No. 3.
7. Florida leads Tennessee, 10-3
Florida may have just finished up one of its most disappointing seasons in decades, but the Gators still had their way with Tennessee. In fact, it was the ninth straight time that UF has knocked off the Vols – a serious streak.
UT actually led this series, 3-1, after the 2004 season. But the Vols program fell off of a cliff in the mid-2000s, leading to a prolonged down period. Butch Jones is doing his best to turn things around in Knoxville.
6. USC leads UCLA, 10-3
This series looks very, very similar to the one Notre Dame has had with the Trojans. USC was so dominant in the early part of the era that the Bruins only picked one game off of them until 2011.
UCLA has rebounded nicely, winning the last two of the series, but the overall stats are still jaw-dropping. Only one of USC’s victories was a one-score game.
5. Ohio State leads Michigan, 11-2
Clearly, this is the biggest game on this entire list – and clearly, Michigan has not held up its end of the bargain this century. The Wolverines, who dominated much of the rivalry in 1990s, have only scored two victories in the entire era against their biggest foe. In the process, the Buckeyes have become the most powerful Big Ten program.
This past season’s game was one of the most exciting of the entire year. Ohio State, ranked No. 3 at the time, survived an upset bid by the Wolverines after Devin Gardner threw an interception on a potential game-winning 2-point conversion.
4. Wisconsin leads Minnesota, 11-2
Wisconsin and Minnesota play annually for Paul Bunyan’s Axe, but it seems that it’s the Badgers who always get to keep it. Wisconsin has held the trophy for ten straight years, and won 11 of the 13 games in the rivalry since 2001.
This past season, the two teams got into a bit of a scuffle after the game, as Minnesota’s players weren’t thrilled with the way Wisconsin’s were celebrating the victory. Luckily, they play next year, like usual.
3. Virginia Tech leads Virginia, 12-1
Okay, we’ve reached beat-down territory. Until the 21st century, UVA and VT actually had one of the closest rivalries, historically, in all of college football, But since, it’s been all Hokies. Tech has ripped off ten straight wins and lost just once during the entire era. The Hokies have also been ranked in ten of those games.
We made note in our big BCS era success piece last month just how successful Virginia Tech was, overall, during the 2000s. It seems that success was also prevalent against its biggest in-state rival.
2. Navy leads Army, 12-1
Navy has won 12 games in a row against Army, and, to be honest, it’s hurt the rivalry greatly. The Black Knights have had a tough time staying competitive in the 21st century, as they’ve posted just one winning season – a 7-6 year in 2010. Ironically, they led the all-time series before the streak started.
What’s more – most of Navy’s wins have been blowouts. The Midshipmen have scored 30 of more points eight times. Hopefully this series can be resurrected – it’s one of America’s pastimes.
1. Georgia leads Georgia Tech, 12-1
Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate has been Clean, Old-Fashioned Domination since the turn of the century. UGA has knocked off Tech in all but one game, a 45-42 finish back in 2008. Six of the Bulldogs’ victories have been close finishes, but the overall record still suggests that this is the most lopsided big-time rivalry of the era.
The 2013 edition of the rivalry was particularly troubling for G-Tech fans. The Yellow Jackets, who led 20-0 at one point, gave up a 10-point lead down the stretch and let the game go to overtime. The Bulldogs, as you guessed, eventually prevailed.