We’re not close to rivalry week yet in this young college football season, but that didn’t stop CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli from ranking his top 5 most hate-filled rivalries in college football in 2017.
The rivalry at the top of his list might surprise college football fans on a national level, but certainly the two teams and fan bases involved in the rivalry know how much hate exists.
Fornelli’s top 5:
5. Ohio State-Michigan
3. Iowa-Iowa State
1. Ole Miss-Mississippi State
He based the rankings on hate in the here and now, national relevance and historical significance disregarded.
On the Iron Bowl, Fornelli claims Alabama’s decade of dominance has almost brought too much respect into the matchup. “I believe things have been getting a touch too cozy,” he says. “The problem is there’s just a little too much respect right now. Blaming either side is hard because Auburn picked up a national title of its own in 2010 — so you have to tip your cap there — and Alabama has just dominated college football. At some point, no matter how much you hate a team, when they keep winning over and over again, you develop a certain level of admiration. You don’t admit it publicly, but it’s something you say to your spouse or someone you trust in the comfort of your own home because you know they’ll keep your secret, but it’s still there.
“This rivalry could use an Auburn win that destroys an Alabama season right now.”
And on the Egg Bowl, whose hate seems to get hotter with every new detail about how one school impacts an NCAA investigation into the other, Fornelli emphasizes the current landscape as a deciding factor.
“Don’t get me wrong, both sides have long hated each other,” he writes. “Mississippi is a state without any professional sports teams, and these two schools have always presented that sports outlet. You chose a side — or, in reality, a side was chosen for you — at birth, and then you spend the rest of your days arguing with anybody that chose the other side. When that happens, you’ve got yourself a stew going. But then you spice that stew up a bit with NCAA violations at one of the schools involved…that adds a level of heat, it only gets spicier.”
Is he right on these two? Is his order wrong? Did he miss a matchup or two? Give us your thoughts!