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College Football: Biggest Rivalries Historical ATS Records

The pageantry and excitement around college football rivalries makes a Grammy Awards red carpet look like a junior high fashion show. NCAA football fans love a good rivalry and so do bettors. These games get elevated to a whole new level when two teams with a long history face off.

Here at Odds Shark, we decided to look into what we consider the top college football rivalries of all time. We’ll explore how each side has fared against the spread so you can handicap future rivalry bets. We couldn’t cover all the rivalries in college football because there are too many to count.

What is a Spread Bet for College Football?

This is a bet that requires you to decide not how a team will win or lose but by how many points they’ll win or lose. For instance, Alabama could be a 17.5-point favorite against LSU in their upcoming college football rivalry weekend game. This means that ‘Bama would need to beat Louisiana State by 18 or more points to cover. In order for LSU to cover, they’d have to win the game outright or not lose by more than 17.

When you see ATS, it means “against the spread,” which is a stat that shows you how a squad has performed in the past.

Now, without further ado, here are the most exciting rivalries in college football history:

Florida State vs Miami

The Sunshine State is known for its manatees, oranges and Florida Man’s antics. It’s also where the FSU Seminoles have been taking on the Miami Hurricanes since October 5, 1951. These teams have met a total of 63 times (as of 2018) with the ‘Canes leading the series 33-30.

• Miami has an ATS record of 5-1 (83.3%) in its last six games on the road vs Florida State dating back to September 7, 2009.

• Florida State has an ATS record of 6-1 (85.7%) in its last seven games on the road vs Miami dating back to September 4, 2006.

• The ATS record is 12-12 (50.0%) dating back to the start of the 1995 season.

• Kicks have played an important role in this series with wide rights, wide lefts, blocks and other mistakes disrupting the balance of the game.

Florida vs Georgia

Since November 6, 1915, the University of Florida Gators and the University of Georgia Bulldogs have been fighting it out on the field. The largest victory came in 1942 when Georgia held Florida to a big fat nothing, beating them by 75 points.

• Both teams are close to 50 percent ATS with the Gators enjoying a small ATS edge – it’s so small you can’t see it.

• The ATS record is 14-9-1 (60.9%) for Florida vs Georgia dating back to the start of the 1995 season.

• Since 1997, Florida is 4-2 ATS as a favorite at home.

• Since 2004, Georgia is 1-0 ATS as a fave at home.

• The only time these two squads didn’t meet was during the Second World War.

Notre Dame vs USC

As of December 4, 1926, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have been a thorn in the side of the USC Trojans. The opposite is also true as USC has spoiled ND’s title hopes in 1938, 1964, 1970 and 1980. The Irish have maintained the lead at 47-36-5 (as of 2019), with their largest margin of victory being 51 points.

• USC has an ATS record of 3-1 (75.0%) in its last four meetings with Notre Dame dating back to November 26, 2016.

• USC also has a record of 7-2 ATS (77.8%) in its last nine games at home vs Notre Dame dating back to November 30, 2002.

• USC also has a small traditional edge over Notre Dame, as the ATS record is 15-10 (60.0%) dating back to the start of the 1995 season.

• ND’s longest unbeaten streak lasted from 1983 to 1995.

Army vs Navy

Ever wonder what people did on November 29, 1890? They watched the Black Knights take on the Midshipmen. There was no internet back in the day, so either you watched a college football game or drank tea – or something. We weren’t there. Also, instant replay made its American debut at the 1963 meeting of these two teams. Ever wonder what people did before instant replay? Probably drank tea.

• Army defeated Navy in 2016 for the first time since 2001, finally snapping its 14-year losing streak.

• Army has an ATS record of 4-1 (80.0%) vs Navy dating back to December 13, 2014.

• Army also has an ATS record of 4-0 (100.0%) in its last four road games vs Navy dating back to December 13, 2014.

• They also have a small traditional edge over Navy, as the ATS record is 13-11 (54.2%) dating back to the start of the 1995 season. However, Navy also has an ATS record of 3-1 (75.0%) on the road vs Army dating back to December 11, 2010.

• As of 2018, they’ve played 119 times.

• Navy leads the series 60-52-7.

Michigan vs Ohio State

On October 16, 1897, the Michigan Wolverines trounced the Ohio State Buckeyes by 34 points. Thus, one of the Big Ten’s major rivalry games was born. The Game, as it is called, has featured an array of future NFLers like Ted Ginn Jr., and top-tier coaches like Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh.

When conference realignment threatened to ruin the future of this college football game, fans bombarded the commissioner and athletic directors of both schools with emails until the rivalry was protected.

• Ohio State has an ATS record of 5-2 (71.4%) in its last seven matches on the road vs Michigan, dating back to November 19, 2005.

• Ohio State also has the edge historically, with an ATS record of 14-10 (58.3%) dating back to the start of the 1995 season.

• Since 2004, Michigan is 0-2 ATS as a road fave.

• The longest win streak was held by Michigan from 1901 to 1909.

Alabama vs LSU

The Alabama Crimson Tide have met the Louisiana State University Tigers 83 times since November 18, 1895. The current head coaches of the teams played themselves in the 2009 true story The Blind Side, where they tried to recruit offensive lineman Michael Oher. At the real-life time of recruitment, Nick Saban was working for LSU and Ed Orgeron for Ole Miss. At the time of the filming and the movie’s release, Saban was working for ‘Bama, creating a very awkward scene for the team’s fans as they watched him pretend to persuade Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw’s adopted son to play for the Tigers.

• Alabama has an ATS record of 3-1 in its last four matches vs LSU, dating back to November 7, 2015.

• Alabama also owns the edge historically for ATS, with an ATS record of 12-9-3 (57.1%) dating back to the start of the 1995 season.

• ‘Bama leads the series 53-25-5.

• LSU is 2-4-1 ATS as home underdogs since 2002.

• In their 2018 meeting, Alabama shut out LSU. 

Indiana vs Purdue

It’s fair to say that the Hoosiers and the Boilermakers hate each other, and since November 14, 1891, they’ve met up 121 times. This rivalry actually has a trophy, The Old Oaken Bucket, which takes its name from a poem.

• Purdue is 3-0 ATS (100.0%) in its last three meetings with Indiana dating back to November 26, 2016.

• Purdue is 7-3 ATS (70.0%) in its last 10 meetings at home vs Indiana dating back to November 21, 1998.

• Purdue is 13-9-2 ATS (59.1%) vs Indiana dating back to the start of the 1995 season.

• Indiana is 2-1-1 ATS at home favorites since 2001.

Iowa vs Iowa State

Another rivalry with a trophy, this one has more excitement than Bernie Sanders at the Iowa caucus. The Cyclones and the Hawkeyes have been facing off since October 1, 1984, in the corn state – which is actually not Iowa’s nickname, but it should be.

• Iowa State is 8-3 ATS (72.3%) in its last 11 meetings on the road vs Iowa dating back to September 12, 1998.

• Iowa State is 14-10-1 ATS (58.3%) vs Iowa dating back to the start of the 1995 season.

• Iowa State is 7-3 ATS as a road underdog since 1998.

• Iowa is 0-1 ATS as a road dog since 1999.

• The current win streak is held by the Hawkeyes.

Minnesota vs Wisconsin

There really was nothing to do back in the day. Either you played football or you watched football in person. If you were lucky enough to attend the November 15, 1890, game between these Midwest rivals, you were probably very cold. And congratulations on your excellent health!

Anyway, the Golden Gophers and the Badgers have met 128 times (as of 2018). They used to play for the Slab of Bacon trophy, but it mysteriously disappeared after the 1943 game – probably because someone was hungry. Now they play for Paul Bunyan’s Axe – not a real axe. That would be dangerous. Almost as dangerous as former Minnesota running back Marion Barber III as he rushed for 35 career touchdowns.

• Wisconsin is 12-10-2 ATS (54.5%) vs Minnesota dating back to the start of the 1995 season.

• Minnesota is 0-2 ATS as a home fave since 2003.

• Wisconsin is 5-5-1 ATS as a home fave since 1998.

• Wisconsin holds the longest win streak from 2004 to 2017.

Clemson vs South Carolina

Dubbed the Palmetto Bowl since 2014, the Clemson Tigers and South Carolina Gamecocks have been rivals since they first battled it out on November 12, 1896. In real life, although a gamecock is a rooster that has been bred and trained to fight, it would not stand a chance against a tiger. Sorry, little fowl.

• South Carolina is 7-3 ATS (70.0%) in its last 10 meetings vs Clemson dating back to November 28, 2009.

• South Carolina is 5-1 ATS (83.3%) in its last six meetings at home vs Clemson dating back to November 24, 2007.

• The ATS record is 12-12 (50.0%) dating back to the start of the 1995 season.

• The current win streak is held by Clemson (since 2014).

• South Carolina is 1-0 ATS as a road fave since 2010.

Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State

The Big 12 conference is home to the Bedlam Series where on November 6, 1904, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State became official rivals. The Cowboys and Sooners have met 113 times as of 2018 with Oklahoma leading the series 88-18-7.

• Oklahoma is 3-1 ATS (75.0%) in its last four meetings vs OK State dating back to November 28, 2015.

• OK State is 3-1 ATS (75.0%) in its last four meetings on the road vs Oklahoma dating back to December 6, 2014.

• Oklahoma is 6-1 ATS (85.7%) in its last seven meetings on the road vs OK State dating back to November 25, 2006.

• Oklahoma is 13-11 ATS (54.2%) dating back to the start of the 1995 season.

Penn State vs Pitt

Pennsylvania is home to the Penn State vs Pitt rivalry that dates back to November 6, 1893. It’s also home to Hersheypark where you can eat chocolate and ride roller-coasters. We do not recommend doing both at the same time.

• Pittsburgh is 5-2-1 ATS (71.4%) dating back to the start of the 1995 season.

• Actual nittany lions don’t exist anymore, but used to be found in the area where the school is.

• The Panthers are 0-1 ATS as home favorites since 2016.

• The Nittany Lions are 0-3-1 ATS at home as faves since 1997 but 4-0 overall.

Washington vs Washington State

The two largest universities in the Evergreen State have been locked in a battle since November 30, 1900. The Huskies and the Cougars, both Pac-12 members, have played 111 times (as of 2018) for the Apple Cup. Apples are the state fruit, hence the trophy. It’s better than the other thing Washington is known for, which is serial killers.

• Washington is 5-0 ATS (100.0%) in its last five meetings vs Washington State dating back to November 29, 2014.

• Washington is 4-1 ATS (80.0%) in its last five meetings at home vs Washington State dating back to November 28, 2009.

• Washington is 8-2 ATS (80.0%) in its last 10 meetings on the road vs Washington State dating back to November 18, 2000.

• Washington State is 14-10 ATS (58.3%) dating back to the start of the 1995 season.

California vs Stanford

You think the Raiders and 49ers have a hostile relationship? That’s nothing compared to the Cal-Stanford Big Game – not the big game which is the national championship. As of 2018, the Golden Bears and Cardinal have played 121 times. That’s 107 more times than their NFL Bay Area counterparts.

• Stanford is 6-1 ATS (85.7%) in its last seven meetings with California dating back to October 20, 2012.

• Stanford is 5-0 ATS (100.0%) in its last five road games vs California dating back to November 20, 2010.

• Stanford is 13-11 ATS (54.2%) dating back to the start of the 1995 season.

Honorable Mentions

• Baylor vs TCU – because you just can’t mess with Texas

• New Mexico State vs UTEP – the battle of I-10 rages on

• Cincinnati vs Miami Ohio – yes, there’s a Miami in the Buckeye State

College football is one of the best sports to bet on. If you refer to this page while handicapping your college football rivalry games, you’re on your way to making smart picks.