A few days ago BYU and Utah State announced an extension to their football rivalry with two more games coming up in 2019 and 2020. Utah State has benefitted by BYU and Utah parting ways on the football field during the realignment madness, and BYU having an in-state rivalry is a positive. This news comes not too long after word the Colorado-Colorado State rivalry may be endangered.
In-state rivalries are cool and college football has plenty of them. But who doesn’t want more?
Texas vs. Texas A&M
This one is a no-brainer, and one I have discussed time and time again. Neither school really needs the rivalry to pick back up, I admit, but whenever the time comes when these two programs do get back on the football field (and preferably not on a neutral field in Arlington), hopefully they will each realize just how special this game still can be.
Florida vs. Miami
Miami plays Florida State every year. So does Florida. How the Gators and Hurricanes have played so few times over the years is somewhat understandable when you get Florida’s scheduling conflicts and strategies, but if we can somehow add an annual Florida vs. Miami game to the schedule to go with the Florida State games, the in-state competition and bragging rights would be intense for all involved.
Penn State vs. Pittsburgh
Starting in 2016 these two former rivals will reignite the flames on the football field for four straight seasons. Here’s hoping for more. Penn State and Pittsburgh used to play every year but the series went idle as Pittsburgh joined the Big East and Penn State entered the Big Ten. Different opinions on scheduling led to a stalemate for years but new leadership at each school has helped to get the series back. Maybe it can once again become an annual Keystone State tradition.
Ohio State vs. Cincinnati
We got a taste of this last season, and I hope you enjoyed it while it lasted. Ohio State has shown little problem playing in-state opponents over the years, but it is a rarity to see the Buckeyes and Cincinnati get together. It would be fun to watch the state’s top two programs play more often, at least from a neutral point-of-view. It would certainly be more attractive than Ohio State taking on opponents from the MAC more often than not.
West Virginia vs. Marshall
It took the state government to force West Virginia to play Marshall before, and it may be needed in order for it to happen again anytime soon. The Big Brother vs. Little Brother aspect of this in-state series would be the easy story to follow, and it could lead to some offensive fireworks as well.
Arkansas vs. Arkansas State
Arkansas and Arkansas State have never played each other in college football. Any chance we can change that? Considering how often SEC schools schedule programs from the Sun Belt Conference, it is somewhat surprising it has not already happened.
Those are some in-state rivalries I would like to see return or develop. What are some you would like to see?