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Midweek Roundtable: What's the best sports rivalry?

Is Ohio State vs. Michigan the greatest sports rivalry? / US PRESSIWRE

We here at USA TODAY High School Sports love a good-natured debate. Every Wednesday, we'll invite you into our sometimes serious, sometimes light-hearted (but always passionate) takes on various topics that pertain to high school sports, and feature commentary from high school athletes. We invite everyone to sound off in the comments and on Twitter and Facebook. Go ahead, tell us why we're wrong. We'll try not to take it personally.


VOTE: What's the best high school football rivalry?

Jim Halley, Reporter

Naming the best rivalry in sports is definitely a subjective thing. The key thing to a big rivarly has to be how close the teams are both figuratively and literally. In high school football, the McKinley (Canton, Ohio) football matchup with Washington (Massillion) has all the tradition needed because of the teams' success over decades. Though Trinity (Louisville) has dominated in recent years, the Trinity-St. Xavier series in Louisville draws huge crowds and has often decided the state championship. Of course, there are other rivalries similarly interesting and important, such as Gaffney-Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) or Jenks-Union (Tulsa). In college, my favorite rivalry is Duke-North Carolina basketball. No matter what those teams are doing, it's a big deal every time. There are some great rivalries in the pros, but with the lack of true player allegiances, they're less likely. I'm not an American League fan, but nobody gets more geeked up than Yankees and Red Sox fans when they play.

Jason Jordan, Reporter

This one is easy; it’s Duke-UNC in college hoops. I’ve been to the game a few times and when it’s at Duke you can literally feel the floor moving because the Cameron Crazies are jumping up and down and screaming the whole time. It’s an absolute rush. Then when the game is at the Dean Dome it’s deafening. Tickets go for thousands of dollars and there’s always some sort of riot afterward. It’s something you’ve got to see to believe.

Sarah Gearhart, Reporter

Having lived in Ohio for several years, I have to say the Ohio State versus Michigan football game is a true culture shock. The rivalry is mad serious, and no matter where you're watching the game in Ohio, you better not root for Team Blue or you'll have a lot of haters lasting well after the game wraps. Also, Manny Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather is pretty dicey (and way too sensationalized). Don't we all realize Pac-Man has this W?

Scott Allen, Content Producer

Redskins vs. Cowboys. I'll admit, it hasn't been much of a rivalry in recent years. Last week's showdown on Thanksgiving Day, in which RGIII became the envy of every Dallas fan with four touchdown passes, reminded me of the days when these NFC East rivals regularly met with more than bragging rights on the line. They'll do it again on Dec. 30. 

David Scott, Content Manager

There are so many classic and emotional rivalries in sports but Ohio State-Michigan is hands down the cream of the crop. I’m really not trying to be a homer, but if you combine the history, hatred, passion, product and mutual respect, it has everything that a true rivalry should have. These two teams have been beating up on each other for over 100 years. Yes, the state up north has the overall lead, but OSU has recently dominated the rivalry winning 10 out of the last 12, including this year. Go Bucks!

Suzanne Schwerer, Content Manager

Steelers. Ravens. There’s nothing like being at Heinz Field when Pittsburgh takes on Baltimore, except maybe being at Consol Energy Center when the Penguins take on the Capitals.


Hal Wasson, Football Coach at Southlake Carroll (Carroll, Texas)

Up until this year, I would say the Texas and Texas A&M in football. The Michigan-Ohio State rivarly is big and so is Alabama and LSU. I think the next upcoming big rivalyr will be Texas A&M and Alabama.

Jayme Thompson, Football, Cathedral Catholic (Toledo, Ohio), Senior

Oh definitely Michigan-Ohio State. I went to the game this year and it was just really crazy. The tradition and everything like that makes it the best rivalry. I am so excited to be going to Ohio State to be a part of it.

John Diarse, Football, Neville (Monroe, La.), Senior

I would have to say it’s the LSU-Alabama game. It’s the Super Bowl of college football. Everyone has to watch that game. It’s definitely the best rivalry. It’s always sold out and it’s the biggest thing on TV. I can’t wait until I get to LSU so I can be a part of it.



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