Best In-State Rivalries Over The Last 10 Years

August 30, 2016 by SbS Football Staff | with 0 comments
The 2016 college football season is here, and once again, rivalry games will take center stage throughout the season.  Rivalries tend to bring out the best games, the best moments, and the most passion from players and fans.  And among the different types of rivalry games, it's the in-state battles that tend to be the most memorable.

Similar to last season, SbS Football has taken a deeper look at the in-state rivalries in college football by analyzing which in-state rivalries have been the most competitive over the past ten years.  
Rather than looking at the entire history of a rivalry, or what rivalry has the best traditions, SbS Football has ranked in-state rivalries from a purely competitive standpoint.  Our criteria is solely focused on the actual games itself, and does not consider team rankings, season records, title implications, game attendance, or any other “outside” factors. 
In order for the in-state matchup to be considered in our rankings, the games between the two state opponents needed to match certain criteria.  In all, 32 in-state rivalries were included in our rankings.

Below is the criteria we used to select the rivalries that would be evaluated:
  • The rivalry must match two FBS teams who are both located in the same state (our list does not consider rivalries like Michigan vs. Ohio State, Florida vs. Georgia, etc.)
  • The two teams must have played one another every year since 2006 (thus, our list does not include in-state rivalries like Texas vs. Texas A&M, BYU vs. Utah, etc.)
  • At least one team in the rivalry must currently play in a Power 5 conference (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC)
  • Our analysis only includes regular season games and does not include any conference championships or bowl games
Our ranking of the in-state rivalries that fit the criteria above is solely based on how competitive the series and games have been.  We utilized the following scoring system to help determine the rankings.
Series Points
Each rivalry was awarded the following points based on how close the series record has been the last ten years:
  • Series record 5-5: 75 points
  • Series record 6-4: 50 points
  • Series record 7-3: 25 points
  • Series record 8-2: 0 points
  • Series record 9-1: -25 points
  • Series record 10-0: -50 points 
Individual Game Points
Each of the ten games within the series was awarded points based on the final score differential.  An overtime game was given 25 points, while non-overtime games were given points based on the following score differences:
  • 1 – 3 score margin: 15 points
  • 4 – 7 score margin: 10 points
  • 8 – 13 score margin: 5 points
  • 14 – 21 score margin: 0 points
  • 22 – 30 score margin: -5 points
  • 31+ score margin: -10 points
2nd Half Bonus Points
Bonus points were awarded to each game in the series in which one of the following things were true:
  • The game was tied at the end of the third quarter: 15 points
  • The winning team trailed at the end of the third quarter: 15 points

Top 10 In-State Rivalries the Last 10 Years

Rankings of the Remaining In-State Rivalries Considered

12. Georgia vs. Georgia Tech (125 points)
13 (tie). Michigan vs. Michigan State (120 points)
13 (tie). Clemson vs. South Carolina (120 points)
13 (tie). North Carolina vs. North Carolina State (120 points)
13 (tie). Illinois vs. Northwestern (120 points)
17. Kentucky vs. Louisville (115 points)
18. North Carolina State vs. Wake Forest (110 points)
19. Duke vs. North Carolina (105 points)
20. California vs. UCLA (95 points)
21 (tie). Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt (80 points)
21 (tie). Florida vs. Florida State (80 points)
23. Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State (70 points)
24. Oregon vs. Oregon State (65 points)
25. Baylor vs. Texas (60 points)
26. UCLA vs. USC (55 points)
27 (tie). California vs. Stanford (50 points)
27 (tie). Texas vs. Texas Tech (50 points)
29. Virginia vs. Virginia Tech (40 points)
30. Stanford vs. UCLA (30 points)
31. Kansas vs. Kansas State (-15 points)
32. California vs. USC (-20 points)