The College Football Fan’s Top Ten College Football Games To Witness in Person Bucket List

      Michigan vs. Ohio State @ Michigan Stadium, AKA “The Big House” 
I’ve always wanted to attend a game in The Big House and watch Michigan and Ohio State battle it out. Did you know that this rivalry has been played annually since 1918? Between Ohio State and Michigan, the winner of this game has also gone on to win the Big Ten conference title on 22 different occasions. In 2006, both of these schools entered their annual contest holding the top two spots in the BCS rankings. This happened to be the first time in the history of the rivalry that Ohio State and Michigan were ranked #1 and #2 respectively. Michigan leads the All-time series with a record of 58 – 49 – 6. However, Ohio State is currently riding a 6 game win streak that dates back to November 24th 2012.

Texas vs. Oklahoma (Red River Showdown)
The Red River Shootout, or Showdown as it’s referred to now is one of the longest running college football rivalry games ever played. It features the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns and the game is played annually in the Cotton Bowl stadium in Dallas Texas. In much of the early 2000s, both of these schools would be ranked in the AP Top 25 each season. The outcome of this game most often times would determine the eventual winner of the Big 12 conference. Unfortunately Texas has not been very relevant since 2012 so the game doesn’t carry the same amount of high stakes. However the Longhorns faithful believe that this could be the season Texas’ winning ways are resurrected. Oklahoma currently holds a 2 game win streak over Texas. The Longhorns lead the All-time series 61-46-5. 

Notre Dame vs. USC
I was never a Fighting Irish fan growing up as a kid, but I respect Notre Dame’s long football tradition. USC also has a deep football tradition and between the two schools they hold a combined 22 national championships and 14 Heisman Trophies. The amount of All-Americans, College and NFL Hall of Famers between these two schools is also staggering. I still remember (the now vacated) Bush Push game back in 2005 where the Trojans came from behind to win the game in dramatic fashion due in part to Reggie Bush pushing Matt Leinhart across the goal line with 1 second left in the game. At the time, both of these schools were ranked in the Top 10, so the outcome of the game was of huge importance for both squads. As it would end up, USC landed in the National Championship game against Texas that season. Notre Dame leads the All-time series 47-37-5.

NC State vs. North Carolina
The biggest college football game in the state of North Carolina is the annual contest between NC State and UNC. My family was raised as NC State fans growing up, so we dislike the Tar Heels still to this day. These two schools first met in 1894, however since joining the ACC in 1953 NC State and North Carolina have played each other every year. The All-time series record in the conference is 35-30 in favor of North Carolina. However, NC State has claimed victories in their last 2 meetings with the Tar Heels.

Army vs. Navy
The tradition and pageantry of the Army – Navy game is unlike any other.  This game is one of the most traditional and longest running rivalries in college football. What’s even cooler is that the game is frequently attended by sitting U.S. presidents. The Army-Navy game is usually the last regular season football game played in Division 1 FBS football. The sites have rotated throughout the history of this rivalry but it’s been most frequently played in Philly. Considering I live in The City of Brotherly Love, I hope this is the year that I get to attend this game in person. It’s kind of cool that Cadets and Midshipmen stand for the entire game. I would do the same considering it’s played on the east coast in December. In fact, I’d be jumping around. The tradition of the prisoner exchange during the pre-game activities is also pretty neat. The prisoners are the Navy Midshipman and the Army Cadets who are currently spending the semester studying at the sister academy. During the exchange, these students are allowed to watch the game with their respective group before heading back to their sister academy. This game has been played 118 times with the All-time series winner going to Navy 60-51-7.
Georgia vs. Florida
Who wouldn’t want to go to an event that was once named the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party? The Florida – Georgia football rivalry has been played every season since 1926 except for interruption during WWII. This game is played every year in Jacksonville, Florida and is usually one of the busiest events the downtown area experiences each year. These teams have both been ranked in the AP Top 25 at least 19 times during their previous matchups. And with Georgia and Florida being in the same East division, the outcome of this game has huge implications on the final standings. There is some difference of opinion in regards to the amount of times these two schools have met. Florida will tell you that there have been 95 meetings with Georgia leading the series 50-43-2. Georgia will tell you that there have been 96 meetings with Georgia leading the series 51-43-2.

Tennessee vs. Florida @ Neyland Stadium (Third Saturday in September)
I’ve always wanted to watch a Volunteers game at Neyland Stadium. And the Third Saturday in September, which is the name of the annual Tennessee vs. Florida rivalry, pitts these two SEC East teams against one another. This matchup held more weight in the 90s when Tennessee was more of a perennial power but since the early 2000s this game hasn’t meant much. Still, I think it would be cool to attend this game seated alongside 102,000 other Volunteers and Gator fans. These two teams have met a total of 47 times with Florida leading the All-time series 27-20. These two teams play on September 22nd this year, which happens to be on my birthday. Maybe someone will gift me a flight and ticket to this game this year. That would be nice.


Alabama vs. Auburn (Iron Bowl)
Who can forget about The Kick Six ending to the 2013 Iron Bowl? Where Auburn Cornerback Chris Davis returned a failed Alabama field goal attempt 100 yards to the opposite endzone for a touchdown which sealed the victory for Auburn as time expired. The two teams had been ranked in the top 5 during the start of the game and the victory catapulted Auburn into the number 3 spot in the BCS standings. Auburn wound up winning the SEC Championship and then also secured a spot in the BCS National Championship game. Alabama and Auburn have met a total of 82 times with Bama leading the all-time series 45-36-1. 

Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State (Egg Bowl)
I think the Egg Bowl is the coolest name ever for a rivalry. The game features the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Ole Miss Rebels. Since 1927 the winning team is awarded the Golden Egg Trophy. I still remember game number 100 in the series where Eli Manning, through a torrential downpour, led Ole Miss to a 31-0 beat down of Mississippi State. This game would mark the first shutout by Ole Miss in over 30 years. Another reason I want to attend this game is so that I can tailgate at The Grove, which is an Ole Miss tailgating tradition. Many sports publications describe The Grove as the ultimate tailgating experience. Ole Miss leads the All-time series 64-44-6.  

Nebraska vs. Missouri @ Memorial Stadium Lincoln
The Missouri vs. Nebraska rivalry officially ended in 2010 but at the time it was the third oldest rivalry west of the Mississippi River. These two teams had met a total of 104 times dating back to 1892. The winner would receive the Victory Bell. The scores of the games dating back to 1927 through 2005 are engraved on the bell. Since the rivalry ended in 2010, with the Cornhuskers taking the last victory, the Bell resides in Memorial Stadium. Hopefully someday these two teams will be able to schedule a series together again. It’s a shame the rivalry had to come to an end with Nebraska’s departure from the Big 12. Nebraska leads the all-time series 65-36-3.


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