Rivalry is defined as competition for the same objective or superiority in the same field. This past weekend, it was rivalry week for college football. Some of these rivalries are the most intense throughout all of sports.

Florida vs. Florida State, Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State, Auburn vs. Alabama, Arkansas vs. LSU (the Golden Boot), Arizona vs. Arizona State (Duel in the Desert) and many more rivals took the field this past weekend.

It’s obvious that many in-state teams facing one another would have a natural rivalry. But some rivalries have spurred specifically because of rugged games causing increased tension between two teams.

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For example, the rivalry between the University of Southern California Trojans (USC) and the Fighting Irish from Notre Dame exists for no reason other than fierce competition.

An article in the Huffington Post explained, “With campuses and cultures far removed from one another, Notre Dame and USC are only united by one thing: Football greatness.”

Huffington Post also said that the two teams have 15 national championships and 13 Heisman Trophy winners between them, making them two of the most historic teams in college football.

The two teams met on Saturday, Nov. 24 at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Notre Dame took home the win, 22-13, and earned themselves an undefeated season along with a berth in the BCS National Championship. Notre Dame also claimed the rivalry trophy, the Jeweled Shillelagh.

Two teams united by a regional rivalry, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State also met for a big game during rivalry weekend. According to ESPN.com, Oklahoma took home an overtime win, 51-48.

This rivalry has been coined the Bedlam rivalry. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “bedlam” as a place, scene or state of uproar. Like some other in-state rivalries (even Plymouth State and Keene State), the Bedlam rivalry extends itself across all sports, not just football.

The history of the rivalry stretches very far back. In fact, ESPN.com said that writer, Steve Budin wrote a book titled “Bets, Drugs & Rock and Roll” that claimed that a leg of the rivalry was actually set up by mobsters.

The book claimed, “the 1954 football game between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State (then Oklahoma A&M) had been fixed by mobsters, who allegedly used a horse laxative to poison some of the Sooners’ players.”

Arkansas and Louisiana State University (LSU) also played this weekend. LSU took home a win that hopefully clinched them a BCS berth, 20-13.

LSU also took home “The Golden Boot” which is the trophy that the winner of this rivalry takes home with them every year.

According to Sports Illustrated, the Golden Boot represents the state of Louisiana. The Golden Boot is a 175-pound, four-foot tall, 24-karat gold statue of the state of Louisiana.

For whatever reasons they are had, these college football rivalries will most likely exist until college football as  whole ceases to exist.


Michelle Berthiaume can be contacted at mberthiaume@keene-equinox.com


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