Ranking the SEC’s 10 best rivalries in 2013

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Why do we love the SEC? Aside from winning championships, rivalries help fuel the tradition and passion of the game we love the most. They’re colorful, they’re rich, and all of them are fierce.

Some intriguing rivalries are falling, though, but from a historical perspective, they’re still relevant and beautiful. They come in different shapes and sizes. Some are new hate, while some are entirely old-fashioned hate. Ranking the 10 best is a monumental task.

Let’s roll:

Heated feuds

1. LSU vs. Alabama
2. Florida vs. Georgia

The LSU-Alabama game is always the most physical game of the season. Two powerhouse rivals hitting each other in the mouth is also – in normal years – the most important game of the year. Although Texas A&M-Alabama overshadows this SEC West bout for 2013, it’s still the game every year with the most national championship implications. The Tide lead 47-25-5 overall, but the Tigers have won seven of the last 10 regular season games…Oh hello, Georgia. The Bulldogs have won two straight against the Gators for the first time since the late ‘80s, throwing some gasoline on what has been a dormant fire. From the Gator Stomp in ‘07 and Urban Meyer’s ‘08 timeouts to the eye gouge in ‘09 and Jarvis Jones’ forced fumble at the goal line in ‘12, this rivalry has been entertaining. It’s the East’s biggest rivalry game. Let’s just hope this game isn’t as ugly as last year’s.

Best all-time rivalry

3. Alabama vs. Auburn

Iron Bowl: Although Bama has won the last two and four of the last five, Auburn has won seven of the last 11, including the 2010 national championship. The state of Alabama owns the last four national titles. It doesn’t get any nastier than that. Oh, but there was that one guy who poisoned the trees.

Two underrated rivalries

4. South Carolina vs. Georgia
5. Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State

South Carolina-Georgia has become the SEC’s most underrated rivalry. I funneled all thoughts on this early-season developing rivalry here…The Egg Bowl isn’t underrated within the state of Mississippi, but outside the state, few tend to soak up and recognize the passion and hatred between the two. Now that Hugh Freeze has arrived on the scene, MSU’s three-game winning streak ended last season. This is a very interesting storyline as both teams struggle for supremacy within The Magnolia State. The Rebels lead the series 61-42-6.

All-time greats

6. Alabama vs. Tennessee
7. Auburn vs. Georgia
8. Arkansas vs. LSU

The Third Saturday in October is a historical rivalry between the two winningest teams in the SEC. The Tide have won the last six games and lead 49-38-7 overall. Can Butch Jones add any spice to the rivalry?…The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry has seen Georgia win the last seven of 10 games, bringing the series to a 54-54-8 overall tie. Who wins the tiebreaker in 2013? It should be a better than expected game…2013 will be the last season – for the foreseeable future – the Battle of the Boot will happen the last week of the season. It shifts to another week in the 2014 schedule, but this one is usually close. The Tigers lead the series 36-20-2.

Rising rivalries

9. Alabama vs. Texas A&M
10. Florida vs. LSU

Alabama-Texas A&M is a new, developing rivalry fueled by the only blemish on Alabama’s 2012 schedule and Johnny Manziel. It’s the biggest revenge game of 2013, and with the brand Texas A&M is developing, this will be a heated divisional rivalry for the foreseeable future. This is college football’s biggest game of 2013…Taking only a backseat to LSU-Alabama, Florida-LSU is the second most physical matchup of the season. Les Miles has voiced his frustration, and Will Muschamp welcomes it. The teams are evenly split 5-5 in the last 10 games.

Just missed the cut:

  • Tennessee vs. Florida
  • LSU vs. Ole Miss
  • Arkansas vs. Texas A&M
  • Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee

Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

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COMMENTS

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  • This article lost all credibility when I saw that Vanderbilt/UT was left out. I don’t even care that it’s on the “Just Missed The Cut” section. Bias or not, that is one of the greatest rivalries in the SEC. And that’s not even considering how heated it has been since James Franklin arrived. You really whiffed on this one, Cooper. Also, lets be honest, Bama/Auburn is number 1. It’s the second best in the country behind Army/Navy.

    • lol…rivalry. 2 of the last 30 isn’t bad. Enjoy your victory last year, Candy

      • Try living in the present, brother. You barely squeaked one out two years ago and the Dores opened up a can of whoopass on y’all last year.

        • Haha Vandy still cant sell out the 40,000 stadium after their best year ever. Tennessee had 40k in the stands for a practice. Enjoying the ass kicking you’ll receive now that Tennessee has a real coach, Vandy.

    • Look at Vanderbilt fans stepping up to the plate. Welcome to the SEC.

    • I think articles like these have no credibility, period. Your real rivals are whichever non-SEC team you happen to play in a major bowl game. Your so called, in-conference rivalries are more like “scrimmages with people you sorta don’t like but in the end are your neighbors so deep down, you kinda like them and you see yourselves as one big team.”

      • So a real rival is a team that you *MAY* play once every few years and not the teams you love to hate that you play year in and year out? Your logic is full of nonsense…

      • David, look at this person’s handle again. Either anti-SEC or just doesn’t get it (I mean, we don’t “cheer” for teams in the SEC, we “root” for ‘em. :)
        Talking about having “no credibility, period.”

        • My logic contains no nonsense whatsoever. If you really loved to hate them, you wouldn’t “root” for them. Also, I’m not really anti-SEC…I just think it’s silly that the lower teams in the conference somehow see it as a badge of honor that they ride the coattails of Bama, LSU, and Florida (Mostly Bama at this point). Of coursee, each team gets a mil or 2, so I guess that’s something to “root” for. I will say I’m tired of the SEC winning all the time… just like I was tired of Anderson Silva being the “unbeatable” UFC Middleweight champ… but he was finally beaten.

          For what it’s worth, I’d actually enjoy seeing a team like SCAR, UGA, or TENN do well and win a national title… but because it fuels the pride of so many people who cheer for the SEC as one big team, I just can’t bring myself to do it.

    • @AnchorDown32 A swing and a miss? I love your enthusiasm, and I’m okay with you calling me out on this one.

  • Bama is my team and I don’t know anyone that considers Texas as a rival. We all respect what they bring to the table. Tennessee vs Florida would definitely be bigger.

  • What do you think of LSU-Auburn??? Do you think any new rivalries will be started this season??

  • Thursday’s game could be another chapter in an interesting cross divisional rivalry, Ole Miss-Vandy, seemingly more important than either the Egg Bowl or The UT game most years for both teams. It is certainly not lopsided like a lot of other series and now the games mean something more than avoiding the cellar!

  • I agree that LSU-Bama and Fla-UGA belong in the heated feuds category but I would also throw Bama-AU up there as well. I live in Alabama and I’ve never seen anything like it. Aside from last year, it’s always been a competitve game and the fans just downright hate each other. I think Harvey Updyke is all the proof you need for that one.

  • Wouldn’t put UGA/UF in the heated feuds category; it’s not like this just happened. I mean, you don’t get the nickname “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” because of a few years as a heated feud. Anyway, fun list to read, regardless.

  • I really hope Texas A&M/LSU becomes a great Thanksgiving Day rivalry.

  • “The Powers That Be” are attemping to manipulate ‘rivalries’ for the benifit of the TV market.

  • A&M-LSU >>>>>>>>>>>> A&M-Arky > A&M-Alabama.

  • Call me crazy but I think A&M falls off in these up coming years and the bama vs a&m game wont be as fierce as it is now.

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