One might argue that Michigan-Ohio State is the best rivalry in college football. Another person might say the Auburn-Alabama is the best. Some might even go with the old Army-Navy game as the best matchup in college football.
But not every rivalry can be judged by some long, pre-1950s history. Rivalries, as we know, change. Ten years ago, nobody would’ve said that the best rivalry in college football was Michigan State-Ohio State.
But in 2016, the argument was made.
CBS determined that the best modern rivalry in college football was Michigan State-Ohio State. When you look at the recent history with the two programs, it’s hard to argue with that.
Everyone knows about the 2015 showdown that saw MSU get the monumental win in Columbus, which essentially punched a College Football Playoff ticket.
But as CBS’ Chip Patterson explained, the last four years have been a major clash of the titans. Here’s where both teams were ranked when they played each other since Urban Meyer took over:
|YEAR||MSU RANKING||OSU RANKING|
|2013 (B1G Championship)||10||2|
The teams split their four meetings, and the underdog was one the matchup three straight times. On top of that, they’ve all been thrilling, wire-to-wire games.
“There’s just not a modern rivalry in college football that has combined winning at the highest level with the ultimate drama over the last four years than the Meyer-Dantonio era of Ohio State-Michigan State,” Patterson wrote.
Both teams figure to start the season in the top 15 nationally, and both could continue the trend of being ranked in the top 20 when they face off on Nov. 19.
Michigan-Ohio State, on the other hand, has seen the Buckeyes take 10 of the last 11 meetings. Neither have been ranked in the top 10 at the same time of their matchup since the No. 1 vs. No. 2 battle back in 2006. MSU-OSU has been a top-10 matchup two of the last three years.
Could that turn around this year? Certainly. But for now, it’s hard to argue with Patterson’s logic.