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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pairs of schools, colleges and universities, especially when they are close to each other either geographically or in their areas of specialization, often establish a college rivalry with each other over the years. This rivalry can extend to both academics and athletics, the latter being typically more well-known to the general public. These schools place an added emphasis on emerging victorious in any event that includes their rival. This may include the creation of a special trophy or other commemoration of the event. While many of these rivalries have arisen spontaneously, some have been created by college officials in efforts to sell more tickets and support their programs.




Rivalry starts in the 1830s when the Free University of Brussels is created as non-religious and freethinking university whereas the old Catholic University of Leuven - refounded in 1835 - remains under the Church's control. Rivalry has survived the splitting of the two institutions on linguistic grounds (Dutch-speaking vs. French speaking) in 1968 (Leuven) and 1970 (Brussels). Nowadays control of the Church on the two catholic has diminished and these universities are largely puralistic, accepting students and professors from all religions and backgrounds, but the rivalry with Brussels' universities remains. It is mainly concentrated in academics and student folkore as intercollegiate sports competition is not very developed in Belgium.


Historically, the two institutions compete at the Annual Red/Blue Bowl Football Game, which attracts alumni and many students from both universities. Other rivalries exist in hockey, rowing and academics, which both score quite well.




Lycée Louis-le-Grand and Lycée Henri IV in Paris[citation needed]

The "Critérium" of the Institut d'études politiques (IEP) is an annual multi-sport competition between the 9 IEPs. It is traditionally held on the last weekend of March with the host city changing every year. It is the occasion for the IEPs located in French regions to challenge the more prestigious IEP Paris (known as "Sciences Po"). A final opposing Paris to, for example, Lyon would see students from all over France cheering for Lyon, especially with the anthem "Province unie, tous contre Paris !" ("Province united, all against Paris !", the "province" being a somewhat pejorative term used to designate any place in France outside of Paris). The Paris students would respond by boasting their status as a Grande école and élite institution.[citation needed]

ESSEC Business School and HEC Paris have been fierce rivals with HEC topping most rankings and ESSEC often coming second. However, ESSEC has long been considered an entrepreneurial powerhouse, more dynamic and open-minded than HEC, whilst the latter has constantly been accused of snobbish attitudes due to the elitist mindset of its student population. Whether either assumptions are true or false, those two schools have produced the elite of French business circles, alongside the other "Parisian" business school ESCP-EAP, Sciences Po Paris and leading engineering institutes such as the Ecole Polytechnique.






Tokyo Rivalries

Kansai Rivalries





University Athletic Association of the Philippines

National Collegiate Athletic Association (Philippines)

Other leagues

South Korea

Sri Lanka



United Kingdom

United States

School rivalries are important in the United States, especially in intercollegiate sports.

ACC Rivalries

Basketball and football are typically the hot-button sports in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), though most rivalries bridge across all sports. The most notable rivalries include:



America East Rivalries

Basketball is typically the hot-button sport in the America East Conference, though most rivalries bridge across all sports. The most notable rivalries include:

Big East Rivalries

The Big East Conference, originally founded as a basketball conference, has evolved into a league of 16 Division I schools, of which eight play Division I Football Bowl Subdivision–level football within the conference. The conference, while centered in the northeast, is also geographically diverse, stretching from Florida to New England and across the Midwest. This has created a variety of sectional and intersectional rivalries. The most traditional basketball rivalry in the Big East Conference is Georgetown University versus Syracuse University, while the most notable football rivalry is the Backyard Brawl involving the University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University.

Big Ten Rivalries

Universities in the Big Ten Conference in the Midwest have more rivalries than "Universitys" in the Southeast. In football, these rivalries are usually marked by traveling trophies, which are indicated in the list below:

Big 12 Rivalries

Rivalries in the Big 12 Conference include:

Colonial Athletic Association Rivalries

Rivalries in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) include:

Ivy League and Service Academy Rivalries

Rivalries between and among the Ivy League schools and the service academies include:

Pac-10 Rivalries

The Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10) falls neatly into five regional pairings, leading to strong natural rivalries. Three of these pairs are cross-state rivals, one pair is within the same metropolitan region (San Francisco Bay Area), and one pair vies for bragging rights within the same city (Los Angeles).

Other Pac-10 rivalries:

  • University of California (Cal) and University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) (all sports) - The schools are the highest rated universities in the University of California system and compete in the biggest "intra-university" rivalry in the nation. Cal is also the "older brother" of UCLA as UCLA was the Southern Branch of the University of California. Because of UCLA's origins with Cal, many Berkeley elements influenced the UCLA campus. Some UCLA traditions can be traced to the early 1920s, when the campus was known as the Southern Branch of the University of California.[citation needed]
  • University of Oregon and University of Washington— (football) an unofficial rivalry that has grown up between the two of the four programs in the Pacific Northwest[citation needed]
  • Oregon State University and University of Washington— (football) similar to the Washington-Oregon rivalry, this game has become more important with Oregon State's recent resurgence in the college football world.
  • Oregon State University and University of Southern California (USC)[citation needed] - This unofficial rivalry started in 2006 when Oregon State Beavers played at home against the No. 3 USC Trojans, and upset them 33-31. In 2007, the No. 15 Trojans beat Oregon State 24-3 at home. In 2008, Oregon State upset the top-ranked Trojans 27-21. According to most sportscasters, Oregon State is considered "Giant Killers" whenever they upset higher ranked USC (a usage possibly derived from OSU's 1967 team, dubbed the "Giant-Killers", which in a period of four weeks defeated then-#2 Purdue, tied then-#2 UCLA, and defeated then-#1 USC).
  • University of Arizona and University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) (basketball) - In the mid-1990s, Arizona and UCLA, as the two strongest teams in the Pac-10, often clashed for dominance in the conference and for the conference championship.

Additional non-conference rivalries involving Pac-10 schools (the most famous of which is arguably USC-Notre Dame) can be found in other sections of this article.

Notre Dame Rivalries

The University of Notre Dame has numerous football rivals, the most notable of which include:

Additionally, Notre Dame has a traditional rivalry with UCLA in basketball.

Midwest Rivalries

See also: #Big East Rivalries and #Big 12 Rivalries (above)

Northeastern Rivalries

See also: #Big East Rivalries (above)
  • New Jersey
    • Rutgers University and Seton Hall University, a rivalry played out solely between the two institutions' men's basketball teams.
    • Princeton University and Rutgers University, Despite their long-standing football rivalry dating back to the first intercollegiate football game in 1869, these two schools have not met on the gridiron since 1980. They continue to compete in every other sport.

Southeastern Rivalries

See also: #ACC Rivalies and #Big 12 Rivalries (above)

Universities in the Southeastern U.S., including those in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Southwestern Athletic Conference, Southeastern Conference, Southern Conference, and Sun Belt Conference, have perhaps the most complex jumble of rivalries, many associated with annual football games, and often with colorful nicknames:

Old Southeastern rivalries seldom played due to conference obligations, divisional changes etc.:

Texas Rivalries

See also #Big 12 Rivalries (above)

These rivalries involve Texas schools that are not members of the Big 12 Conference. In two of these rivalries, both sides involved were members of the old Southwest Conference, four of whose schools were founding members of the Big 12. Another rivalry involves an old SWC team against an Oklahoma rival. The last one listed is a football rivalry involving Texas and Louisiana schools in the second-tier Division I FCS.

Western Rivalries

See also: #Pac-10 Rivalies (above)

HBCU Rivalries

Religious Schools

  • Messiah College and Wheaton College (Illinois) — These Christian Schools compete frequently for the top Christian as well as Division 3 Soccer Team.[citation needed]
  • Indiana Wesleyan University and Taylor University — The schools are separated by less than 15 minutes in rural NE Indiana, and have an intense rivalry in NAIA athletic events.[citation needed]
  • Tabor College (Kansas) and Bethel College (Kansas) — These two Mennonite Schools which are only a few miles apart find a friendly rivalry that stems from a denominational split in the 1860s. Their soccer teams compete in the Menno-Cup and Football teams compete in the Menno-Bowl every year.[citation needed]

Chess Rivalries

See also


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