Ryan Day, Ohio State's head coach, and Jim Harbaugh, Michigan's head coach, lead their teams into a tense rivalry game with CFP implications.
Left: Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images, Right: Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Top 10 College Football Rivalry Games of 2022, Ranked by Playoff Importance

There is nothing better than sports rivalries. And when it comes to rivalries, no sport compares to college football. These long-standing rivalries can consist of 100 years of history and mean everything to the teams involved, regardless of their records — as every rival matchup could become a trap game. While there are some rivalry games spread throughout the season, the majority are set for this weekend, the final regular season weekend of the 2022 college football season. With so many games on deck, we could not just rank the five best games, so here are the top ten college football games of rivalry weekend!

Honorable Mention: Auburn Tigers (5-6) at No. 8 Alabama Crimson Tide (9-2)

Nick Saban and Carnell "Cadillac" Williams will be the two head coaches in the 2022 Iron Bowl.

Left: Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images, Right: Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

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  • How to Watch: CBS
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. (EST), Nov. 26
  • Betting: BAMA -22, O/U: 49
  • All Time: Alabama leads, 48-37-1
  • Previous: Alabama 24, Auburn 22. 4OT (2021)

While this year's meeting appears to be a bit lopsided, historically, the Iron Bowl is one of the most competitive rivalry games in all of college football. The Auburn Tigers won the first meeting over the Alabama Crimson Tide in 1893 and would go on to win seven of the first nine games between the two. But since then, the Crimson Tide have taken-over, dominating in the 1960s, 1970s, and the 2010s. Entering this year's matchup, the Tide have very, very little hope of making the College Football Playoff, so this is their exclamation point on the season. However, the Auburn Tigers have won two games in a row with Cadillac Williams as head coach and are hoping for an Iron Bowl win to get them into bowl eligibility.

Prediction: Alabama 37, Auburn 23.

10. Louisville Cardinals (7-4) at Kentucky Wildcats (6-5)

Will Levis #7 of the Kentucky Wildcats throws a pass against the Tennessee Volunteers in the second quarter at Neyland Stadium

Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

  • How to Watch: SECN
  • Time: 3 p.m. (EST), Nov. 26
  • Betting: UK -3.5, O/U: 43
  • All Time: Kentucky Leads, 18-15.
  • Previous: Kentucky 52, Louisville 21. (2021)

While both these schools are traditionally known for their success in basketball, the football programs of the Louisville Cardinals and the Kentucky Wildcats have shown their relevancy over recent years. This rivalry, known as the Governor's Cup, was first played in 1912, but after just six games, the rivalry was put on hold for 70 years. The Wildcats have won the last three matchups but are in a downward spiral as the season comes to an end. Can they extend it to four? Or Will the Cardinals end the streak and push Kentucky to .500?

Prediction: Kentucky 33, Louisville 29.

9. Florida Gators (6-5) at No. 16 Florida State Seminoles (8-3)

Head coach Mike Norvell of the Florida State Seminoles looks on during the second quarter of a game against the Florida Gators

Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

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  • How to Watch: ABC
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. (EST), Nov. 25
  • Betting: FSU -9.5, O/U: 58
  • All Time: Florida Leads, 37-26-2.
  • Previous: Florida 24, Florida State 21. (2021)

Aside from the COVID-19 impacted year of 2020, the Florida State Seminoles and the Florida Gators have met every year since the two first played in 1958. The rivalry was the hottest in the 1990s. Every game in the Sunshine Showdown had both teams ranked in the top 10. For this year's meeting, only one team is ranked, Florida State, but the Gators hold a three-game streak in the series. But can they make it four?

Prediction: Florida 27, Florida State 23.

8. Kansas Jayhawks (6-5) at No. 15 Kansas State Wildcats (8-3)

Running back Deuce Vaughn #22 of the Kansas State Wildcats runs for a 14-yard gain against the Oklahoma Sooners in the third quarter at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium

Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

  • How to Watch: FOX
  • Time: 8 p.m. (EST), Nov. 26
  • Betting: KSU -12, 0/U: 62.5
  • All Time: Kansas Leads, 64-50-5.
  • Previous: Kansas State 35, Kansas 10. (2021)

Surprisingly, the Kansas Jayhawks hold the series lead, as they jumped out to a 17 to 1 game lead after the two first met in 1902. However, the Kansas State Wildcats have won 13 straight games over the Jayhawks, winning 26 of the last 31 meetings between the two. With a spot in the Big 12 title game on the line, can the Wildcats extend that streak? Or can the Kansas Jayhawks end their once-hopeful season with a win over their in-state rival.

Prediction: Kansas State 41, Kansas 33.

7. NC State Wolfpack (7-4) at No. 18 North Carolina Tar Heels (9-2)

Drake Maye #10 of the North Carolina Tar Heels throws a pass in the first half during a game against the Virginia Cavaliers

Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

  • How to Watch: ABC
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. (EST), Nov. 25
  • Betting: UNC -6.5, O/U: 56
  • All Time: North Carolina Leads, 68-37-6.
  • Previous: NC State 34, North Carolina 30. (2021)

From their first meeting in 1894 to 1919, the North Carolina Tar Heels had a 9-0-4 record, allowing just 29 total points, preventing the NC State Wolfpack from scoring in 11 of those games. North Carolina has put several streaks together in the series. But since the turn of the millennium, the Wolf Pack has had the momentum, winning 13 of the 22 meetings — including 10 of the last 15. The Tar Heels are in the ACC title game already but that does not mean the Wolfpack won't try and play upset for a spot that could have been theirs.

Prediction: North Carolina 45, NC State 32.

6. Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-4) at No. 20 Ole Miss Rebels (8-3)

Quinshon Judkins #4 of the Mississippi Rebels carries the ball during the first half against the Kentucky Wildcats

Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

  • How to Watch: ESPN
  • Time: 7:00 p.m. (EST), Nov. 24
  • Betting: MISS -2.5, O/U: 59
  • All Time: Ole Miss Leads, 64-45-6.
  • Previous: Ole Miss 31, Mississippi State 21. (2021)

The Egg Bowl was first played in 1901, with the Mississippi State Bulldogs, then known as Mississippi A&M, winning the first game. They went on to win 17 games of their first 22 meetings. But after that, the Ole Miss Rebels took control of the series with two win streaks of seven or more games. The Egg Bowl has been as competitive as ever, with Ole Miss leading the series, 12 games to 10 since 2000. The Rebels look to add to that lead and keep a 10-win season alive, but the Bulldogs have other plans to get the series one game closer to even (since 2000).

Prediction: Ole Miss 37, Mississippi State 35.

5. South Carolina Gamecocks (7-4) at No. 7 Clemson Tigers (10-1)

Dabo Swinney coaches in a game against Wake Forest.

Jacob Kupferman via Getty Images

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  • How to Watch: ABC
  • Time: 12:00 p.m. (EST), Nov. 26
  • Betting: CLEM -14.5, O/U:50.5
  • All Time: Clemson Leads, 72-42-4.
  • Previous: Clemson 30, South Carolina 0. (2021)

With their first matchup in 1896, the Clemson Tigers and South Carolina Gamecocks have met 118 times, and for the most part, it has been all Clemson. After South Carolina won five games in a row from 2009 to 2013, the Tigers have won every meeting since, with six of those seven wins being by 18 or more points. But with their ticket punched already for the ACC title game, could we possibly see the Tigers get trapped as they go up against a Gamecocks team that is coming off a HUGE win over Tennessee?

Prediction: South Carolina 30, Clemson 27.

4. No. 12 Washington Huskies (9-2) at Washington State Cougars (7-4)

Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) drops back to pass during a PAC-12 conference college football game between the Washington Huskies and Oregon Ducks

Photo by Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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  • How to Watch: ESPN
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. (EST), Nov. 26
  • Betting: WAS -2, O/U: 59
  • All Time: Washington Leads, 74-33-6.
  • Previous: Washington State 40, Washington 13. (2021)

Known as the Apple Cup, the first meeting between the Washington Huskies and the Washington State Cougars was in 1900 and ended in a 5-to-5 tie. Since then, the Huskies have been the more dominant team, with five sets of five-game win streaks while the Cougars have never been able to win no more than two games in a row. The Huskies need an Oregon loss to go with an Apple Cup win, but a spot in the Pac-12 title game is still on the table. However, the Cougars won last year's matchup and would love nothing more than to play spoilers.

Prediction: Washington 48, Washington State 44.

3. No. 10 Oregon Ducks (9-2) at Oregon State Beavers (8-3)

uarterback Tristan Gebbia #3 of the Oregon State Beavers hands off the ball to running back Kanoa Shannon #29 during the second half of the game against the Colorado Buffaloes at Reser Stadium

Photo by Ali Gradischer/Getty Images

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  • How to Watch: ABC
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. (EST), Nov. 26
  • Betting: ORE -3.5, 0/U: 56.5
  • All Time: Oregon Leads, 67-48-10.
  • Previous: Oregon 38, Oregon State 29. (2021)

Even after 128 years and 125 meetings, the rivalry between the Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers has all the signs of becoming more competitive despite the Ducks overall and recent reign over the Beavers. After the teams swapped wins every year from 1997 to 2006, the Oregon Ducks have since won 12 of the last 15 meetings. A win would put the Ducks into the Pac-12 Championship, but it will be no cake walk as the Beavers are very good this year and still have hopes of getting their first 10-win season since 2006.

Prediction: Oregon 45, Oregon State 41.

2. No. 13 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-3) at No. 5 USC Trojans (10-1)

Notre Dame and USC have been rivals since 1926.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images (left), Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images (right)

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  • How to Watch: ABC
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. (EST), Nov. 26
  • Betting: USC -5, O/U: 62
  • All Time: Notre Dame leads, 48-36-5.
  • Previous: Notre Dame 31, USC 16. (2021)

One of the more non-traditional rivalries is that of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the USC Trojans, who, outside of 2020 (COVID-19), have met every year since 1946. During the 1970s and early 2000s, the Trojans were the more dominant team, but every meeting outside of that has pretty much been all Notre Dame. With a win, it would be the fifth-straight win over USC and could propel Notre Dame into a New Year's Six bowl. But for the Trojans, a win would do more than snap a losing streak to the Irish it would also keep their playoff hopes alive.

Prediction: USC 45, Notre Dame 31.

1. No. 3 Michigan Wolverines (11-0) at No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-0)

CJ Stroud and JJ McCarthy lead their teams into battle as Ohio State and Michigan face off in their rivalry matchup.

Left: Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images, Right: Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

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  • How to Watch: FOX
  • Time: 12 p.m. (EST), Nov. 26
  • Betting: OSU -7.5, O/U: 57
  • All Time: Michigan Leads, 59-51-6.
  • Previous: Michigan 42, Ohio State 27. (2021)

Known as "The Game," the rivalry between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines dates back to 1987, with 116 matchups between these two college football "Blue Bloods." Last season, the Michigan Wolverines won their first game against the Buckeyes, after Ohio State had won the previous eight meetings and 17 of the last 19. This year's matchup has just as much importance to it as last year's as not only will the winner of this contest advance to the Big Ten title game but pretty much stamp their spot into the College Football Playoff.

Prediction: Ohio State 31, Michigan 30.

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