Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Enjoy These Rivalries While They Last

Thanksgiving weekend is usually rivalry weekend in college football. All those ancient battles we've watched over the years renew and the hatred gets reignited.

With all the conference shuffling going on, we could see some of these rivalries come to and end this year (or maybe next). Some of these are over a century old but the lure of money combined with hard feelings are forcing these games to possibly stop.

TEXAS-TEXAS A&M: These teams first met in 1894 and is one of the more intense rivalries on Thanksgiving weekend. With Texas A&M's move to the SEC, this rivalry will be dead for a while. While the Aggies want to continue the series, the Longhorns say their schedule is booked through 2018.

This is a odd ending. While Oklahoma is a bigger rival to Texas than A&M is, this was still a bitter battle. But one of the big reasons A&M left for the SEC is that they wanted to get away from big brother's shadow. Now they'll have to go it completely alone.

KANSAS-MISSOURI: The Border War is named as such because of some Civil War bad blood between the two states. Since Halloween 1891, these schools have been battling on the gridiron. With Mizzou's move to the SEC, this heated rivalry could die out. As in the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry, Kansas is shying away from continuing the Border War due to Missouri's defection to the SEC.

PITTSBURGH-WEST VIRGINIA: The Backyard Brawl could be ending this weekend as well. The two schools have met 103 times and it is one of the more unique rivalries in college football. Pittsburgh will be moving to the ACC soon, while West Virginia is moving to the Big XII. With the Big East's insistence to keep all Big East defectors in their conference for two years, this game could have a couple of battles left.

Despite both teams changing leagues, I see this game continuing. The ACC has long been able to honor those final interconference rivalry games. We see Clemson face South Carolina, Florida State face Florida and Georgia Tech take on Georgia in the final game of the season (before Virginia Tech joined the ACC, Virginia did play them on the final week as well). The ACC wouldn't mind keeping this game on Thanksgiving weekend which could help keep this game alive. Plus, since both teams are leaving the Big East, there isn't the hard feelings that other rivalries have seen.

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