Bama plays in 3 of this year’s top 10 college football rivalry games
Three Alabama Crimson Tide rivalry games made into the top ten of Ticket City’s 2013 list of the Top 25 Biggest College Football Rivalries.
Alabama-LSU is number one on the list, barely beating out Michigan-Ohio St. The Tide and Tigers were on track for another epic battle of undefeateds this year until Georgia knocked off LSU over the weekend.
The first meeting between Alabama and LSU took place 112 years ago, but the rivalry failed to blossom until LSU’s rise earlier this decade under then-head coach Nick Saban. Saban’s move to Alabama — and Alabama’s ensuing resurgence — has only added fuel to the fire.
The Iron Bowl made the list at number 5, thanks in part to its participants winning the last four BCS National Championships. Alabama and Auburn first met in February 1893, with Auburn winning. Since then the in-state rivals have played more than 70 games. Alabama leads the all-time series 42-34-1.
Notable meetings between the two schools include the 1972 “Punt-Bama-Punt” game, Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s 315th career win in 1981, immediately followed by “Bo Over The Top” for the Auburn win in 1982, “The Kick” in 1985, and of course, the last four Iron Bowls after which the winner ultimately went on to win the BCS Crystal Ball.
The Alabama-Tennessee rivalry comes in at number nine. The game between the Tide and the Big Orange is commonly referred to simply as the “Third Saturday in October.” The days leading up to the game are known around Tuscaloosa as “Hate Week.” Since their first game in 1901, Alabama leads the series officially, 49-38-7.
Both Auburn and Alabama also had other games ranked in the top 25.
“The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry,” Auburn Vs. Georgia, comes in at number 13, and Alabama-Ole Miss is ranked 18th.
In all, eleven of the top 25 rivalry games involve at least one SEC team.
“Our goal was to produce an unbiased ranking that focuses on measurable metrics — such as attendance, ticket demand, and total games played (to name a few),” Ticket City said. “In addition to historical data, we also measured recent performance and game demand to reflect current trends and events.”
Here’s how Ticket City scored their list:
Recent Popularity (30 points)
Metrics: Attendance , Stadium Capacity Filled, Ticket Demand
Notoriety (25 points)
Metrics: In-State Rivalry, Intra-Conference Rivalry, Trophy Awarded, Claimed National Championships (both teams), Conference Championships (both teams), Heisman Trophy Recipients (both teams)
History (20 points)
Metrics: Date of First Meeting, Total Games Played
Competition (15 points)
Metrics: (Historical) Date of First Meeting, (Past Decade) Average Point Difference, Appearance in AP Regular Season Poll
1. The rivalry must have a game scheduled or announced in the 2013 season.
2. The teams involved in the rivalry must have met at least once in the last 5 years.
3. The teams involved in the rivalry must currently be associated with Division 1 school.
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