One of the best parts of college football is the rivalries. Decades old clashes between schools that have roots in the earliest days of the sport. Trophies made of the most bizarre objects that fans treat as though it were the national title. With potentially the most consequential Crosstown Rivalry, the game between USC and UCLA coming up, let's take a look at three of the most underrated rivalries across the college football world.
3. Crosstown Rivalry – Trojans vs. Bruins
Let's start where we began. In the City of Angels. USC and UCLA first met all the way back in 1929, right at the start of the Great Depression. Since then, USC has won 49, UCLA 33 and seven of their meetings have been ties. The rivalry has been continuous since 1936. Though USC has taken the recent history, winning 16 of the past 22, UCLA has had some nice streaks of their own, such as winning eight straight from 1991 to 1998.
When both fanbases are motivated, such as in 2022, it can make for quite the spectacle. The games are always played at historic venues, be it the LA Memorial Coliseum or the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
This year, they will face off Saturday with a spot in the Pac-12 Championship on the line.
2. Egg Bowl – Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State
The one and only college football rivalry to still take place on Thanksgiving Day, the Egg Bowl, is still one of the best in the country. That's true even if its games aren't often of national significance. The series has been played 106 times dating all the way back to 1901, and has only missed four games in that span, those coming from 1912-14 and 1943.
In fact, the rivalry is much older than the trophy itself. The trophy, now known as the Golden Egg due to its shape, was created following the 1926 version of the matchup. Following Ole Miss' first win in the series since 1910, Rebel fans rushed the field on Mississippi State's campus and tried to tear the goalposts down. Those actions caused numerous violent fights. The trophy was created so that didn't have to happen again.
Ole Miss leads the college football series 64-46-6, and it's seen some great moments over the years. The most recent memory would be Elijah Moore's penalty for pretending he was peeing like a dog which ended up costing the Rebels the game. If you don't like the late NFL matchup on Thanksgiving, there's always fun to be had in north Mississippi.
1. $5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy – Minnesota vs. Nebraska
Another series dating back to the turn of the 20th century, Minnesota and Nebraska first met in 1900. Though heavily interrupted until 2011 when Nebraska joined the Big Ten, these two have still met 63 times over the last 122 years. Minnesota leads the 36-25-2. However, it may just be the newest trophy in all of college football.
Following twitter interactions between Minnesota's mascot Goldy and parody twitter account Faux Pelini, where Faux Pelini said if Minnesota won the 2015 contest he'd pay Goldy $5, and if Nebraska won he'd get to smash a wooden chair over Goldy's head. That's how the $5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy was born.
It may just be the most unusual trophy in all of college football, and it may have been built entirely on Twitter and Reddit, but the quirks of college football are what make it so great and fun. There's been a resurgence in that kind of thinking in college football circles lately. Frankly, I think we need more of it. Embrace the wacky. Create new trophies out of goofy things. Enjoy the sport rather than sweating whether your team is good enough.