NCAA Rivalry Week: Three of the best games in college football
This is rivalry week. The week in college football in which all the big rivalries take place. There is The Iron Bowl (Auburn/Alabama), Florida State takes on Florida and the big one Ohio State at Michigan. What does it mean to play in these rivalries? We take a look.
The Iron Bowl – Auburn Tigers vs Alabama Crimson Tide
The name of the game comes from all the years it was played in Birmingham, AL. They played the game for many years at the neutral site of Legion Field. The game took on the official name of Iron Bowl in 1980. These two schools are usually ranked in the top 25 year after year. In more recent years both teams have been perennial National Title Contenders. This year is no different. Both teams are in contention for the National Title Tournament.
This rivalry week game is not without its moments. Several games have ended in dramatic fashion. We relive some of those below.
1904 – Auburn defeats Alabama. For this reason, the Tigers hired Mike Donahue.
1964 – The Iron Bowl was broadcast on national television. Meanwhile, Joe Namath defeated Auburn 21-14.
1972 – Down 16-3 Auburn blocks 2 punts for TDs and wins the game 17-16.
1981 – Crimson Tide Coach Bear Bryant win his 315th game with a 28-17 win
1993 – Auburn defeats ‘Bama 22-14. The game was not televised because Auburn was on probation.
1997 – Auburn recovers an Alabama fumble and kicks a game-winning FG with :20 left to win 18-17.
2007 – Nick Saban began his record 0-1 in the Iron Bowl with a 17–10 loss at Auburn.
2008 – Auburn wins its first game in Tuscaloosa.
2010 – Auburn defeats the Tide 28-27 after trailing 24-0.
2013 – “Kick Six Game” With the game tied at 28 ‘Bama attempts a 57-yard game-winning FG. Because the kick was short, Auburn CB Chris Davis returned the ball 109 yards for the game-winning TD.
The Alabama Crimson Tide leads the series 45-35-1
Sunshine Showdown – Florida Gators vs Florida State Seminoles
Although this game does not carry a name it is still one of the biggest games in college football history Players and students from both schools look forward to this game every year.
This game began in 1958. It has been a staple on the Saturday following Thanksgiving since the 1970s. For most of the rivalry, especially recently, both teams have been highly successful. In the last 30 years, one or both teams are usually ranking high in the polls. In fact, from 1990-2000 both schools were carrying top 10 ranking at the time of the game. Be that as it may, the winner in six of those games would represent ½ of the National Championship Game.
Additionally, this rivalry week game has its moments as well. We take a look at some of the more memorable games below.
1964 – Florida State gets their first win. They would complete a 16-7 victory over the Gators.
1993 – The Seminoles entered the game with a record of 10-1. Likewise, the Gators were 9-1. In any case, with 6 minutes left and his team up 27-21, FSU QB Charlie Ward would lead his Seminoles on a game-winning drive that culminated with a 79-yard TD pass to RB Warrick Dunn. Seminoles would win 33-21.
1996 – Both teams were nationally ranked. As a matter of fact, they were 1 and 2 in the country. The Seminoles would hold on for 24-21 win. A valiant comeback effort by the Gators fell just short after trailing 17-0.
2003 – “Swindle in the Swamp” The Seminoles would defeat the Gators 38-34. However, the game was marred by inconsistent officiating. Besides the officiating, after the game was complete, several FSU players began stomping and jumping on the Florida logo in the center of the field. Consequently, this caused a fight to break out between the two teams.
The Florida Gators lead the series 34-25-2
The annual football game played between Ohio State and Michigan began back in 1897. The rivalry week game has been played annually since 1918. Additionally, the two teams play each other at the end of the year. That format started in 1935. Furthermore, the game switches back and forth between Ann Arbor, Michigan and Columbus, Ohio every year. Thus, Ann Arbor will host the game in the odd-numbered years and Columbus hosts the game in even-numbered seasons.
This game annually leads to the Big Ten Championship for one of the two teams. However, This year is a down year for Michigan. Nevertheless, it should lead to a division championship and title game appearance for Ohio State.
Rivalry week would just not be the same without this annual tradition. Let us look at some of the more memorable games.
1941 – The two teams met for the first time nationally ranked in the AP Poll. The game ended in a 20-20 tie.
1973 – Both teams entered the game undefeated. The game ended in a 10-10 tie in Ann Arbor.
1995 – OSU had a team of future NFL Stars. They were led by names such as RB Eddie George, OT Orlando Pace, WR Terry Glenn, LB Mike Vrabel, CB Shawn Springs, and TE Ricky Dudley. Specifically, Terry Glenn would leave “bulletin board” material “Michigan Nothing!” This fueled the Wolverines to a 31-23 upset win over the number 2 Buckeyes.
2006 – Both teams again entered the game undefeated. As a result, both teams ranked 1 and 2 in the BCS Championship polls. OSU would win 42-39 and play for the BCS National Championship.
2016 – Michigan held the number 3 ranking. Ohio State ranked 2 in the country. Furthermore, this was only the second time in the history of the contest that both teams ranked in the top three. Hence, this would be the first overtime game in the series. As a matter of fact, the game would go to double overtime and result in an OSU victory.
The Michigan Wolverines lead the series 58-46-6
Rivalry week leads to some of the best college football games of the season. No matter the rankings, the players, or even the coaches these games lend us a reprieve from the holiday hustle and bustle.
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