Nothing excites a college football fan quite like rivalries do. Michigan-Ohio State, Alabama-Auburn, UCLA-USC (just kidding nobody watches PAC-12 football), Mississippi State-Ole Miss… so many rivalries define college football’s landscape year-after-year. But what are the odds for this year’s rivalry games? Who are the favourites to bring home bragging rights in their big rivalry this year? A few recently released Vegas odds give us an idea of who are the current favourites to win these 5 mammoth rivalry games in 2019.
OHIO STATE VS MICHIGAN
Nickname: “The Game”
When: November 30, 2019
Where: The Big House – Ann Arbor, MI
Last 5 Rivalry Games: Ohio State leads 5-0
All-Time Series: Michigan leads 58-50-6
2018 ATS: Ohio State 6-8, Michigan 6-7
2019 Spread: Michigan -2.5 (as of 8/1/19)
With Urban Meyer gone from tOSU, Jim Harbaugh’s underwhelming Michigan Wolverines finally get their chance to topple the Buckeyes, a team that has consistently dominated Michigan in recent times. This year ‘The Game’ heads to The Big House… but will that make a difference? Justin Fields comes into the Buckeyes lineup as starting QB, while Shea Patterson is the Wolverines signal caller in what should be a dominant battle of star passers. But Ryan Day is a genius offensive mind, and the Buckeyes have a better supporting cast all around. The Buckeyes are the pick here.
NOTRE DAME VS STANFORD
When: November 30, 2019
Where: Stanford Stadium – Stanford, CA
Last 5 Rivalry Games: Stanford leads 3-2
All-Time Series: Notre Dame leads 20-13 (including vacated 2012 game)
2018 ATS: Notre Dame 6-5-2, Stanford 7-5-1
2019 Spread: Notre Dame -4 (as of 8/1/19)
A rivalry so good it doesn’t have a name? Well, this is always a consistently exciting, non-conference matchup that reels fans in. Stanford is the ever-consistent PAC-12 unit that always brings out explosive offenses and consistent coaching (David Shaw is still one of the best coaches in the nation). KJ Costello is a solid quarterback, but they go up against a very good Notre Dame team. Led by quarterback Ian Book, most of the talent that went all the way to the Cotton Bowl last season is still around, as is Brian Kelly, who is still an excellent coach. It will be hard to go against the Fighting Irish in this one.
GEORGIA VS FLORIDA
Nickname: “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”
When: November 2, 2019
Where: TIAA Bank Field – Jacksonville, FL (“neutral”)
Last 5 Rivalry Games: Florida leads 3-2
All-Time Series: Georgia leads 52-43-2
2018 ATS: Georgia 8-6, Florida 9-4
2019 Spread: Georgia -4.5 (as of 8/1/19)
One of the most fun rivalries in the nation, ever since Herschel Walker left in the mid-80s this game was obliterated by the Gators year after year, but in the last two years a national championship-caliber Georgia outfit has fought back to claim two wins in this famous rivalry. Florida is very good and should be a top-10 team in the country in 2019, but Georgia is a top-5 team in the country. 5-star talent is abundant all over the Bulldogs list, and it would be very surprising for Georgia to lose this game this year.
OKLAHOMA VS TEXAS
Nickname: “Red River Shootout”
When: October 12, 2019
Where: Cotton Bowl – Dallas, TX (“neutral”)
Last 5 Rivalry Games: Oklahoma leads 3-2
All-Time Series: Texas leads 62-47-5
2018 ATS: Oklahoma 6-7-1, Texas 6-7-1
2019 Spread: Oklahoma -4 (as of 8/1/19)
Another very fun matchup at a neutral site, the Red River Shootout is always an offensive battle that always results in a good fight all game long. Over the last few seasons Oklahoma has taken an edge in this battle, anchored by a Heisman-winning QB in Baker Mayfield, but Texas is (sort of, kind of, a little) back following an impressive Sugar Bowl victory over Georgia, plus they did beat Oklahoma in this matchup last year in the Big 12 championship game (Oklahoma won the early season battle). Oklahoma brings former Alabama starter Jalen Hurts to it’s lineup this year, while Texas returns star QB Sam Ehlinger as it’s starter. This is always a close battle, but Oklahoma once again has a CFB Playoff-caliber team, so they are the safe bet here, even if the Sooners lost to the Longhorns in the most recent battle between these teams.
ALABAMA VS AUBURN
Nickname: “The Iron Bowl”
When: November 30, 2019
Where: Jordan-Hare Stadium – Auburn, AL
Last 5 Rivalry Games: Alabama leads 4-1
All-Time Series: Alabama leads 46-36-1
2018 ATS: Alabama 8-7, Auburn 6-7
2019 Spread: Alabama -13 (as of 8/1/19)
Where on earth would this list be without the best rivalry in all of college football? The Iron Bowl is a headline maker, a star maker, and simply, a way to watch dozens of NFL-caliber players star under college football’s brightest lights. The Iron Bowl is always a classic matchup on the college football schedule, and it’s best stars and plays are immortalized in history. Alabama has dominated the matchup in recent times, save for a few games (Kick Six, anybody?), and they are likely to win once again this season. Auburn were a tired outfit in 2018, and their offense is in rebuild mode following Jarrett Stidham’s departure, so it would take a Herculean effort in order for Gus Malzahn’s squad to bring home the candy in this late-November matchup. Sadly for college football fans America-over, the Crimson Tide should win this matchup with ease.