Readers share some pretty 'INTENSE' feelings about college rivalries

Readers share some pretty 'INTENSE' feelings about college rivalries
The Lehigh football team, shown in 1884, swill play Lafayette for the 150th time Saturday at Yankee Stadium. (Associated Press)

Each week during the college football season, national analyst Chris Dufresne will burn a timeout to answer questions and exchange opinions. You can email him at and reach him on Twitter: @DufresneLATimes.

Unbuckling the mailbag:


You are out of your mind. Ohio State vs. Michigan is not only THE MOST INTENSE, heated rivalry in college football but, in ALL of sports!

You are selling it way short … typical West Coast ignorance

Tom Cordea

Sorry, I didn't realize your INTENSE rivalry had so many capital letters. However, Auburn-Alabama has more exclamation points and Texas-Oklahoma is a semi truck loaded with semicolons. And no rivalry has more dangling participles than Cal-Stanford.

I am personally miffed that conference realignment ruined my favorite rivalry involving an ampersand: Texas-Texas A&M.


How in the world can you omit the Yale-Harvard rivalry, which is one of the oldest in the country and they are still playing THE GAME?

Joe Rick


What is it with these capital letters? I DID NOT OMIT Yale-Harvard from my rivalries story. I said — in capital letters — this was a different story.

I wrote: "Army-Navy, HARVARD-YALE, California-Stanford and USC-Notre Dame will always hold their timeless places, but here are the 10 hottest rivalries of the moment."

My dream is: By the end of my career, someone will read my entire story and not rely on a friend telling them, "Hey, did you see where that jerk from the L.A. Times thought Arizona-ASU was a better rivalry than Harvard-Yale?"

And the other guy says: "Yeah, I never liked that guy … what's his name again?"

And the other guy says: "I know it but I can't pronounce it."


And the other guy says: "That sports section hasn't been the same since Jim Murray died."

And the other guy says: "Yeah, they're just shills for the USC Trojans … the Trojan Times."

And the other guy says: "Wait, I thought they were shills for UCLA … the Bruin Daily News.


Boy did you miss the boat on rivalries. USC vs. Notre Dame has to be far ahead of almost every rivalry you mentioned, since it goes back to the days when Notre Dame, under immortal had coach Knute Rockne, brought his team out by train to Los Angeles in the '30s to meet Howard Jones' team at the Coliseum.

Jim Papst

I'm confused. Did I miss the boat or the train? Or maybe it was a bus?


How could you have overlooked the most played one? A true rivalry has longevity, staying power, history … and none more than Lehigh-Lafayette …150 times. At least an honorable mention?

Brad Gillespie

Just to stay clear on this: I have not only missed a boat and/or a train on my rivalries story but also dropped the ball?

Lehigh-Lafayette does deserve honorable mention, especially this week as the two Pennsylvania schools meet for the 150th time.

This jewel of a game, known simply as "The Rivalry" to those in the Lehigh Valley, is being played at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. The Empire State Building will be lit with the school colors.

Former Yankee great Yogi Berra was reportedly asked if he knew where Lafayette and Lehigh were located. "I don't know," Yogi allegedly said, "but when you get to the fork in the road … take it."

Lehigh-Lafayette didn't make my "hot" rivalries list because they are both having lousy years in the Patriot League. You really can look these things up.

The Mountain Hawks of Lehigh are 3-7; the Lafayette Leopards are 4-6.


Looking forward to another great local story about the UCLA-USC game and then you put AUBURN on the front page! Who cares about Auburn and Alabama this week in Los Angeles?

Andrew Camarillo

Auburn and Alabama have played more big games recently in Los Angeles than UCLA or USC.

Alabama won the 2008 national title at the Rose Bowl and Auburn played for the title last January in Pasadena, losing in the final seconds to Florida State.

Maybe if our local teams advanced to some of these important games we wouldn't have to carry water for the Tuscaloosa Times.


I think people in the Land of Enchantment may be offended. No New Mexico-New Mexico State? Have these two powerhouses EVER met with both teams having a winning record?

Mark Ogle

New Mexico-New Mexico will definitely be included should I consider a follow-up story on the coldest rivalries on record — and I'm not just talking South Dakota-South Dakota State.

Also — and I'm not sure how you missed it — New Mexico and New Mexico State already played Sept. 20. I'm surprised ESPN didn't send GameDay for that mega-tilt.

New Mexico won a 38-35 thriller at Las Cruces, which is never an easy place to … get to.

The teams are now a combined 5-15 for the season.

I think to drum up interest the schools should move their rivalry game to Los Alamos and play for the "Radioisotope Trophy."

Just roll the ball out then stand back — way back — and watch.


I just read, with laughter, your biased article on the current best rivalries. I'm not surprised that a Pac-12 homer has got so many Pac-12 teams listed.

Tom Drasler

If you read my story with laughter then I'm not complaining, but only three of my 10 rivalries involved Pac-12 schools. That's 30%

The SEC also got three games in my rankings, which makes some sense given the Pac-12 and SEC are the two "hottest" conferences right now. The leagues have, combined, 12 of the 20 schools in this week's College Football Playoff rankings.

I even included two Atlantic Coast Conference-SEC rivalries in Clemson-South Carolina and Georgia Tech-Georgia.

So that means the SEC had more schools in my rivalry top 10 than the Pac-12.

So that clearly makes me a homer for the South: Call me "Homer Pyle, B.M.O.C."


You darn-near named every SEC team … Really?? The SEC is so overrated. Have you fallen into their trap as well?

Geno Apicella

Yes, it's just like that home-alert commercial I watch on late-night TV while tuning in the SEC Network: "I've fallen and I can't get up."


Dear Mr. Homer, if Ohio State wins out, UCLA could beat the Chargers and not leapfrog them. Sorry.

Preston Gartley

I beg to Buckeye differ. If UCLA wins out it would have won the first- or second-best conference by avenging a regular-season defeat to Oregon.

UCLA's only other blemish was a last-second defeat to Utah in which the Bruins missed two late field goals.

ESPN Stats and Info noted this week that UCLA, by the end of the season, will have played the nation's toughest schedule.

I think the selection committee, loaded with Pac-12 affiliated members, would say that trumps Ohio State, which lost at home to a Virginia Tech team that has a 2-4 record in the ACC Coastal Division.

The better question is whether I think UCLA will win out.


My answer: Even if the Bruins somehow get past USC and Stanford, I don't think they can defeat Oregon this year.


I hope Oregon makes it to the playoff; hopefully they will get 'Bama so we can settle this.

Jason Metz

A lot of us do pine for Alabama-Oregon. The programs represent a clash of college football philosophies. Alabama is an old-school operation led by a coach, Nick Saban, who thinks defense wins championships. Guess what: He's right. Saban has won three national titles since 2008.

Oregon represents the face of the up-tempo modern era. The Ducks have brought glitz and glamour to the sport but have failed to validate any of it with a national title.

This could be the year.