Are rivalries changing?

Stone is a senior journalism major from St. Mary’s.

Brian Stone

Yesterday morning, ESPN’s feature story was entitled “Tradition vs. Money” and called into question which was more important: the football rivalries that the fans hold dear, or the money that is to be made by branching out and playing new teams.  With all of the divisional and conference changes that are being made throughout college football, it has come to the attention of both ESPN and sports fans alike that certain rivalries between football teams might not become a staple in the schedule anymore.  With the loss of rivalries comes a range of emotions. One might simply not be able to imagine a world where the Iron Bowl (Auburn vs. Alabama) or The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (Georgia vs. Florida) does not take place.

With teams moving up and down the divisions across NCAA football, it seems that some rivalries will simply no longer exist. For example, this 2013 season is the last time that Notre Dame University and the University of Michigan (a game many felt to be historic) will meet for a long, long time due to the Big-10 expansion and the addition of ACC teams to Notre Dame’s schedule.

While this might be upsetting for some, some sports fans that have been around the block a little longer than I might remember a rivalry between the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Auburn University.  These two teams have met more than 80 times and often had to play in neutral territory because the rivalry was so heated.  However, in the span of my lifetime these two teams have never played, so the loss of this rivalry meant virtually nothing to me.

In conclusion, it is important to remember that despite the loss of some traditional rivalries, new ones will always occur.  Ten years ago, no one would have ever imagined that Alabama University and Texas A&M would have had such tension after only one game, but that is the case nowadays.  And 10 years in the future, fans might look forward to Alabama and A&M playing with the same intrigue they look for while watching Ohio State vs. Michigan.  Don’t criticize the schools for wanting a change of schedule, but look forward to the future and see what great rivalries might come forth.