10 long lost rivalries on future college football schedules

By Amy Daughters -

One of the biggest costs of the enormous wave of conference realignment in college football from 2010-2013 was rivalry games.

Though the loss was great, it makes the slow resurfacing of now historic matchups even more delicious. We can only hope that the following ten pairings will be so well received that other former rivals are compelled to schedule future meetings.

MarylandVirginia

First played: 1919

Last played: 2013

Scheduled for: 2023/2024

Trophy: None

Maryland and Virginia’s 78-game rivalry ended in 2013 when the Terrapins bolted for the Big Ten. The two schools, located just 130 miles apart, shared membership in the ACC for 59 years.

Maryland leads 44-32-2 all-time and won the last two meetings. The two met consecutively from 1957-2013.

FloridaMiami Fla.

First played: 1938

Last played: 2013

Scheduled for: 2019

Trophy: Seminole War Canoe

Florida and Miami met annually from 1944-1987. Beginning in 1988, the SEC changed its scheduling format from six league games to seven, thereby reducing non-conference games from five to four. The Gators opted to keep their yearly game with Florida State, but dropped the Hurricanes.

The Seminole War Canoe was awarded to the winner of the game from 1955 until approximately 1975. It was a whopper, carved out of a 200-year old cypress tree that was struck by lightning. The Canoe resurfaced in 1989 when it landed in Miami’s Sports Hall of Fame. That’s where it’s been ever since.

The Hurricanes lead the all-time series 29-26 and have won seven of the last eight.

UConnUMass “The U Game”

First played: 1897

Last played: 2012

Scheduled for: 2018/2019 and 2020/2021

Trophy: None

UConn and UMass played each other annually from 1952-1999 as powerhouse members of the old Yankee Conference. In 29 of these 48 seasons (or 60%), either the Huskies or Minutemen captured the conference championship. On four occasions (1960, 1971, 1982 and 1986) they shared the title. It makes the rivalry one of the most meaningful despite its lack of curb appeal.

UConn moved up to the FBS (Division I-A) as an independent in 2000, joined the Big East in 2004 and are now members of the American. UMass moved up to the FBS ranks via the MAC in 2012 and declared its independence in 2016. The Minutemen lead all-time 36-34-2, but the Huskies won the only-ever FBS meeting between the two 37-0 in 2012.

Ole MissTulane

First played: 1893

Last played: 2012

Scheduled for: 2021, 2023 and 2025

Trophy: None

Ole Miss and Tulane shared membership in the Southern conference from 1922-1932 and in the SEC from 1933-1965, when the Green Wave went Independent. It means that 28 of their 71 total meetings were conference games.

The Rebels lead the series 43-28 and have won 11 straight. Tulane last won in 1988.

CincinnatiPittsburgh “The River City Rivalry”

First played: 1921

Last played: 2012

Scheduled for: 2023/24

Trophy: Paddlewheel Trophy

Cincinnati joined Pitt in the Big East in 2005, leaving Conference USA after nine years. The River City Rivalry was short lived, lasting eight seasons before the Panthers moved to the ACC and the Bearcats transitioned into the American.

The rivalry and trophy were both named because of the two cities shared location on the Ohio River. The Paddlewheel itself is a whopper, almost four feet tall and weighing in at 95 pounds. It features a working engine room “telegraph,” a device used to communicate from the bridge of a ship to the engine room.

Pitt leads the all-time series 8-4, but Cincinnati has won four of the last five including the last two meetings.

PittsburghWest Virginia “The Backyard Brawl”

First played: 1895

Last played: 2011

Scheduled for: 2022/2023 and 2024/2025

Trophy: None

Pitt and West Virginia are located a mere 75 miles apart, a straight shot on I-79. The two played each other consecutively from 1919-1939 and 1943-2011, when the Mountaineers joined the Big 12. They also shared membership in the Big East from 1991-2011, making 21 meetings conference games.

The Panthers lead the all-time series 61-40-3, but West Virginia has won three straight.

IllinoisMissouri “The Arch Rivalry”

First played: 1896

Last played: 2010

Scheduled for: 2026/2027 and 2028/2029

Trophy: None

Illinois and Missouri met in Saint Louis, Mo. six times from 2002-2010, hence the “Arch” part of the “Arch Rivalry.” Though not a true midpoint between the two schools, Saint Louis is 180 miles from Champaign, Ill. and 120 miles from Columbia, Mo.

The Tigers lead the all-time series 17-7 and have won six straight. The Illini last won in 1994.

NebraskaColorado

First played: 1898

Last played: 2010

Scheduled for: 2018/2019 and 2023/2024

Trophy: None

Nebraska and Colorado shared membership in the same conference from 1948-2010 (in the Big 7, 8 and 12) until the Cornhuskers bolted for the Big Ten and the Buffs left for the Pac-12. They also shared membership in the Big 12 North from 1996-2010, one of the two representing the division in ten of the 15 conference championship games.

Nebraska leads 49-18-2 and won the last three meetings.

OklahomaNebraska

First played: 1912

Last played: 2010

Scheduled for: 2021/2022 and 2029/2030

Trophy: None

Another historic in-conference rivalry, Oklahoma and Nebraska shared membership in the same league from 1921-2010. They first hooked up in the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MVIAA) in 1921 before joining the fledgling Big 6 in 1928. From there, it was the Big 7 starting in 1948, the Big 8 in 1961 and then the Big 12 in 1996.

The Sooners lead the all-time series 45-38-3 and won five of the last six meetings. The 1971 contest is widely considered the “Game of the Century.”

Penn StateWest Virginia

First played: 1904

Last played: 1992

Scheduled for: 2023/2024

Trophy: None

Penn State and West Virginia played consecutively from 1947-1992, until the Nittany Lions dropped their independent status and joined the Big Ten. The two schools are located 185 miles apart.

Penn State has a commanding 48-9-2 lead in the all-time series, including winning 25 straight from 1959-83.

Historical data courtesy of Sports Reference – College Football.

Leave a Reply

Comments (11)

Since Pitt does not have a natural SEC rival, I would like to see them resume the Backyard Brawl with West Virginia on Thanksgiving weekend. Since joining the ACC, the Panthers have finished with a conference game against a former Big East opponent (Miami four times and Syracuse once), but this would be preferable.

Or perhaps the ACC can make an agreement with the Big Ten like they do with SEC. Pitt plays Penn State Thanksgiving weekend and Syracuse plays Rutgers Thanksgiving weekend.

Ideally, Boston College-UConn, Maryland-West Virginia, Michigan St.-Cincinnati, Notre Dame-Miami, Iowa-Iowa St., Nebraska-Missouri, LSU-Tulane, and Arkansas-Tulsa/Memphis would become yearly end of season rivalries. It makes it more excited to end with geographically close teams.

How about looking at internal conference rivalries that also have been torn asunder by divisions. The ACC has a few, but I’m particularly looking at the rarely played now Auburn-Florida and Auburn-Tennessee annual rivalries. AU gave up the most when the SEC went to divisions losing these two long rivalries.

The Navy–Notre Dame series has been played annually since 1927, making it the longest uninterrupted intersectional series in college football.

I agree w/Mike; how can the writer be STUPID enough to leave UT-aTm out ?!?!?! SWC and Big 12 rivals, the bonfire that killed some students in the late ’90s, those 2 took that game SERIOUSLY !!!!!