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The Oldest College Football Rivalries

All colleges with football programs have fierce rivalries. These rivalries create contests that fill stadiums with students and alumni dressed from head to toe in the school colors. They solve math problems how better organize their team. Rivalries come and go over time as schools change conferences or divisions, but a few rivalries outlast the others. Here are a few of the oldest college football rivalries in the history of the game.

Army Versus Navy

In a game with great historical significance, the Army Black Knights from West Point and the Navy Midshipmen from Annapolis meet every year on the football field. Navy won the first game on November 29, 1890 by a score of 24-0. Both teams want badly to win the contest each year, and their rivalry has become one of the most storied in college football.

Purdue Versus Indiana

Having played their first contest in 1891, these two teams vie for more than a game in the win column. Dating back to 1925, these rivals also play for the famed Old Oaken Bucket. Like in most in-state rivalries, a lot of animosity exists between the Purdue Boilermakers and the Indiana Hoosiers. Supporters of both the winner and the loser each year must rub elbows with one another until the next meeting.

North Carolina Versus Virginia

Although not always a big game in terms of national championship contention, this game claims the moniker of the “South’s Oldest Rivalry.” With the first meeting taking place in 1892, the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Virginia Cavaliers began a rivalry that formally took off in 1919, when the teams began playing each other every year. These two traditionally academic schools let their hair down for this annual contest.

Oregon Versus Oregon State

Another pair of intrastate rivals, the Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers boast a history going back to 1894. Their rivalry game, the “Civil War,” dates back to 1925. These teams are conference opponents, so they have more than pride on the line when they meet on the field.

These are only a few of the oldest college football rivalries. Football historians classify rivalries as oldest, most continuous and those with the most games played between the rival teams. Many other rivalries with long histories exist, including Harvard-Yale, Georgia-Georgia Tech, Auburn- Alabama, Oklahoma-Texas and Ohio State-Michigan, to name a few. No matter who is competing, college football rivalries generally bring out the best in both teams, regardless of ranking or record.

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