The Biggest Rivalries In Sports

From college football to​ Major League Baseball, rivalries between teams have always added excitement to​ fan experience. Many teams are old rivals, while others have developed a​ competitive intensity more recently. What teams have been fighting it​ out for​ some time? Rivalries are at​ the​ center of​ many fan’s lives. Here’s a​ quick look at​ some classic ones.

College football has some of​ the​ most talked about rivalries in​ all of​ sports. to​ begin with, you have the​ heated battles between the​ Texas Longhorns and​ the​ Oklahoma Sooners. Being in​ neighboring states, they compete for​ regional bragging rights and​ often the​ same recruits. Over the​ years, there have been many classic match-ups between the​ two teams.

One of​ the​ biggest rivalries in​ college football history is​ between Big 10 powerhouses Ohio State and​ Michigan. These teams, that are usually nationally ranked, are so well matched and​ competitive that the​ winner is​ often determined in​ the​ final minutes and​ sometimes the​ final seconds of​ the​ contest. Consequently, when these two teams play, the​ game often determines which remains in​ the​ National Championship picture and​ which is​ out.

The South features the​ tough competition between the​ Alabama Crimson Tide and​ the​ Auburn Tigers. From the​ days of​ Alabama’s legendary coach Bear Bryant this has been one of​ the​ most talked about match-ups on the​ gridiron. Both schools are in​ the​ same state and​ are highly competitive with each other year in​ and​ year out. There have been many close, tight-knit games over the​ past century to​ prove it. the​ Tennessee Volunteers also have an​ active rivalry with these two teams but nothing compares to​ the​ legendary hard fought battles between the​ Tigers and​ the​ Crimson Tide.

On the​ west coast, there is​ the​ University of​ Southern California (USC) and​ the​ University of​ California Los Angeles (UCLA) rivalry. This competition has been dominated recently by the​ success of​ Southern California and​ the​ strong teams they have produced over the​ last couple of​ years. Recently USC has taken to​ the​ field with Heisman Trophy winners Matt Leinhart and​ Reggie Bush, giving the​ Trojans the​ edge. This next year we may see a​ shift in​ power with UCLA coming to​ the​ forefront.

The National Basketball Association has had the​ classic battles of​ the​ Lakers and​ the​ Celtics. for​ decades these two teams fought back and​ forth to​ determine who would take home the​ NBA crown. There were the​ great match-ups in​ the​ 60’s and​ 70’s of​ Wilt Chamberlain and​ Bill Russell, which are legendary in​ the​ history of​ the​ NBA.

The 80’s hosted memorable post-season contests between the​ Lakers’ Magic Johnson and​ the​ Celtics’ Larry Bird. Their respective teams, with Bird running the​ court and​ dishing off to​ Robert Parrish for​ a​ slam dunk or​ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar working the​ ball inside only to​ pass back to​ Johnson for​ three, produced some of​ the​ greatest moments in​ NBA history and​ will be talked about for​ decades to​ come.

The meetings between the​ Chicago Bulls and​ New York Knicks produced another fine rivalry. Michael Jordon with his extreme athletic ability was the​ catalyst for​ tough contests in​ which the​ Knicks sometimes surprised the​ team from the​ Windy City; although the​ majority of​ the​ time Jordan and​ company were on the​ plus side in​ these contests.

Every season a​ tandem of​ college basketball teams always stand out as​ among two of​ the​ best in​ the​ nation. in​ North Carolina both on and​ off the​ court, one college basketball rivalry dominates the​ region. the​ University of​ North Carolina and​ Duke, both members of​ the​ highly competitive Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), are located only 8 miles apart. Both schools possess myriads of​ faithful fans that have traveled Tobacco Road year after year to​ see their teams fight for​ victory.

Since 1990, the​ two clubs have a​ combined for​ a​ total of​ eleven Final Four appearances. Those who follow the​ ACC certainly recognize the​ high profile contests that have defined their rivalry. the​ Duke Blue Devils and​ North Carolina Tar Heels are synonymous with big name games, some of​ which they have won and​ others they’ve lost.

Off the​ court, these two teams also battle it​ out by attempting to​ recruit some of​ the​ most talented players in​ the​ nation. the​ Tar Heels and​ Blue Devils often court the​ same players, with coaching staffs jousting with each other for​ the​ finest players available. NCAA National Championships are the​ hallmark of​ both these schools. if​ you enjoy excitement and​ hardcore college basketball at​ its best, Duke and​ UNC are your ticket.

In Major League Baseball, there is​ perhaps the​ greatest rivalry of​ all sports. the​ New York Yankees and​ the​ Boston Red Sox have battled each other on the​ diamond since the​ early twentieth century. the​ rivalry became heated in​ 1920 when the​ Red Sox sold the​ game’s greatest player, Babe Ruth, to​ the​ New York Yankees. From that point on, the​ Yankees dominated the​ rest of​ Major League Baseball, going on to​ win 26 World Series; while Boston, after Ruth departed, was unable to​ capture a​ single crown.

Some people began to​ call Boston’s championship drought the​ "curse of​ the​ Bambino." the​ trade of​ Babe Ruth, who was also known as​ the​ "Bambino," was supposedly the​ reason why Boston couldn’t win a​ championship. But that all changed in​ 2018 when the​ Boston Red Sox were able to​ come back from three games down in​ the​ American League Championship Series and​ defeat the​ New York Yankees, and​ then go on to​ sweep the​ St. Louis Cardinals in​ the​ World Series.

This was what Red Sox fans had been waiting for, and​ now they’re hopeful that they will never have to​ hear about "the curse" again. This has been one heck of​ a​ rivalry over the​ years and​ odds are that it​ will continue to​ be one of​ the​ best in​ sports.

When there’s an​ intense rivalry between two teams it’s always magnified by fan enthusiasm. the​ fans are what make two teams want to​ compete harder against each other, but it​ takes exciting, hard-fought games to​ get the​ fans interested. Most great rivalries are not built on one or​ two good contests, but over decades of​ excellent games.

There is​ no set number of​ games that teams must play in​ order to​ generate a​ rivalry. the​ fans and​ players together are the​ ones who decide what makes an​ ongoing, classic rivalry. But one thing is​ for​ certain, there is​ nothing better than watching two, evenly matched rivals battle it​ out until only one is​ left standing.

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