Which opponent has each power school played the most in history?

By Amy Daughters -

Did you know that Auburn has played Georgia 40 more times than it’s faced Alabama? Or that USC has played Cal 19 times more than it’s squared off with UCLA?

Just because schools are big time rivals, playing for bragging rights and hardware, doesn’t mean they share the most history.

The following list identifies each Power school’s most-frequent opponent all-time. Not only do the results illustrate the effects of conference realignment, they remind us that we love a sport with a long, storied past.

By the numbers, SEC teams have the highest combined total meetings, averaging 109.3 games against their most frequent opponents. Next is old guard Big Ten at 108 games, the Big 12 with 107.9, and the Pac-12 with 103. The ACC comes in last with an average of just 92.8, with six members having their longest-running series under 100 meetings. That’s compared to the Pac-12 with four such schools, the Big Ten with three, the SEC with two, and the Big 12 with just one.

Two Power schools (Boston College and Rutgers) have FCS teams as their all-time most-played opponent, while four others (Louisville, Colorado, Utah, and Notre Dame) have non-Power FBS programs as their most frequent foe.

The longest-running series is Minnesota-Wisconsin at 125 meetings and the shortest is Louisville-Cincinnati at 53.

Five Power programs are listed as the most-played opponent for a record three separate schools: Georgia (Georgia Tech, Florida, and Auburn), Kansas (Kansas State, Nebraska, and Missouri), Mississippi State (Alabama, LSU, and Ole Miss), Texas (Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas A&M) and Virginia (North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Maryland).

Last but not least, long-enjoyed series like Missouri-Kansas (120 meetings), Texas A&M-Texas (118 meetings), and Nebraska-Kansas (117 meetings) have been lost to conference realignment.

On the plus side, West Virginia and Pitt (104 games) have a four-game series scheduled from 2022 to 2025.

The numbers reflect games played through Week 12 of the 2016 season.

ACC

Boston College: Holy Cross – 64 all-time meetings – leads all-time series 48-31-3

Clemson: South Carolina – 113 meetings – leads 67-42-4

Duke: North Carolina – 103 meetings – trails 36-60-4

Florida State: Miami (Fla.) – 61 meetings – trails 30-31-0

Georgia Tech: Georgia – 110 meetings – trails 40-65-5

Louisville: Cincinnati – 53 meetings – trails 22-30-1

Miami (Fla.): Florida State – 61 meetings – leads 31-30-0

North Carolina: Virginia – 121 meetings – leads 64-53-4

NC State: Wake Forest – 110 meetings – leads 66-38-6

Pittsburgh: West Virginia – 104 meetings – leads 61-40-3

Syracuse: Penn State – 71 meetings – trails 23-43-5

Wake Forest: NC State – 110 meetings – trails 38-66-6

Virginia: North Carolina – 121 meetings – trails 54-63-4

Virginia Tech: Virginia – 97 meetings – leads 55-37-5

BIG TEN

Illinois: Northwestern – 109 meetings – leads 55-49-5

Indiana: Purdue – 118 meetings – trails 40-72-6

Iowa: Minnesota – 110 meetings – trails 46-62-2

Maryland: Virginia – 78 meetings – leads 44-32-2

Michigan: Ohio State – 112 meetings – leads 58-48-6

Michigan State: Michigan – 109 meetings – trails 35-69-5

Minnesota: Wisconsin – 125 meetings – leads 59-58-8

Nebraska: Kansas – 117 meetings – leads 91-23-3

Northwestern: Illinois – 109 meetings – trails 49-55-5

Ohio State: Michigan – 112 meetings – trails 48-58-6

Penn State: Pittsburgh – 97 meetings – leads 50-43-4

Purdue: Indiana – 118 meetings – leads 72-40-6

Rutgers: Lehigh (Pa.) – 74 meetings – leads 43-30-1

Wisconsin: Minnesota – 125 meetings – trails 58-59-8

BIG 12

Baylor: TCU – 112 meetings – trails 52-53-7

Iowa State: Nebraska – 105 meetings – trails 18-85-2

Kansas: Missouri – 120 meetings – trails 54-57-9

Kansas State: Kansas – 113 meetings – trails 43-65-5

Oklahoma: Texas – 111 meetings – trails 45-61-5

Oklahoma State: Oklahoma – 110 meetings – trails 18-85-7

Texas: Texas A&M – 118 meetings – leads 76-37-5

TCU: Baylor – 112 meetings – leads 53-52-7

Texas Tech: Baylor – 74 meetings – trails 36-37-1

West Virginia: Pittsburgh – 104 meetings – trails 40-61-3

Pac-12

Arizona: Arizona State – 89 meetings – leads 48-40-1

Arizona State: Arizona – 89 meetings – trails 40-48-1

Cal: Stanford – 109 meetings – trails 43-56-10

Colorado: Colorado State – 88 meetings – leads 64-22-2

Oregon: Oregon State – 119 meetings – leads 63-46-10

Oregon State: Oregon – 119 meetings – trails 46-63-10

Stanford: Cal – 109 meetings – leads 56-43-10

USC: Cal – 103 meetings – leads 69-29-5

UCLA: Stanford – 88 meetings – leads 45-40-3

Utah: Utah State – 112 meetings – leads 79-29-4

Washington: Oregon – 109 meetings – leads 59-45-5

Washington State: Washington – 108 meetings – trails 32-70-6

SEC

Arkansas: Texas – 78 meetings – trails 22-56-0

Alabama: Mississippi State – 100 meetings – leads 79-18-3

Auburn: Georgia – 120 meetings – trails 55-57-8

Florida: Georgia – 94 meetings – trails 43-49-2

Georgia: Auburn – 120 meetings – leads 57-55-8

Kentucky: Tennessee – 112 games – trails 24-79-9

LSU: Mississippi State – 110 games – leads 73-34-3

Mississippi State: Ole Miss – 112 games – trails 43-63-6

Missouri: Kansas – 120 games – leads 57-54-9

Ole Miss: Mississippi State – 112 games – leads 63-43-6

South Carolina: Clemson – 113 games – trails 42-67-4

Tennessee: Kentucky – 112 games – leads 79-24-9

Texas A&M: Texas – 118 games – trails 37-76-5

Vanderbilt: Tennessee – 110 games – trails 30-75-5

INDEPENDENT

BYU: Utah – 91 games – trails 31-56-4

Notre Dame: Navy – 90 games – leads 76-13-1

Historical data courtesy of Stassen.com and College Football Data Warehouse.

  1. Josh
    November 21, 2016 at 11:25 am

    This would warrant an update after 2016 bowl season. I’d like to see it as a running piece.

  2. GEG
    November 21, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Too bad a few of these rivalry because of Conference realignment.

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