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    I haven’t been shy about my feelings on conference realignment, but I am also a firm believer that all events have at least some amount of positive and negative consequences, even if accidentally. I don’t condone the collapse of the Pac-12 or OUT to the SEC, but I can’t pretend there’s nothing to look forward to.

    College football will regain some rivalries in the coming conference swaps, and the potential for new series to make their own history is there. Even the most pessimistic among us can admit that we look forward to Texas and Texas A&M sharing a conference again.

    How each of these conferences will structure their schedules is unclear. Divisions are dead, but each league has displayed differing methods for protecting rivalries and rotating opponents. It might take a few years, but eventually, everyone will play everybody.

    Texas vs. Texas A&M

    The irony of the re-introduction of the Longhorns and Aggies is not lost on me, nor the rest of college football. Even though these programs haven’t met on the football field since 2011, you can still feel the animosity across the internet, in the administrations, and the many divided families of East Texas. Texas A&M ditched the Big 12 for more money and to get out of the Longhorns’ shadow to become the SEC’s Lone Star State representative. That worked for about a decade, but Texas started sneaking looks over the fence at the green grass the Aggies enjoyed with their Southeastern friends and grew jealous. Naturally, they couldn’t help themselves.

    That’s how Texas A&M will frame Texas entering their turf, anyway, adding another layer to a rivalry that already has plenty of history and hate behind it. This is one of the best in-state showdowns in the sport, and that we’ve gone more than 10 years without it is a tragedy that should never occur. Fortunately, that will soon be rectified, even if unintentionally.

    Utah vs. BYU

    The Holy War is one of the nastiest and fiercest rivalries in collegiate athletics. With Utah and BYU soon to share the Big 12, conference title implications could be back on the menu. This rivalry had enough stakes already, but us neutrals will gladly welcome more.

    The Utes and Cougars haven’t missed many years since 1922 after first meeting in 1896, with their rivalry surviving the wild ride of several rounds of realignment. They stuck together through the rise and fall of the Rocky Mountain Conference, Mountain States Athletic Conference, Skyline Conference, and WAC, but they separated in 2011 when Utah left the Mountain West for the Pac-12 and BYU made its football independent. Still, the schools made an effort to play one another, and they’re now back under one roof more than a decade later.

    This immediately becomes one of the best rivalries in the Big 12. Hopefully, the conference will give it priority on rivalry week, and we’ll get to enjoy The Beehive State’s biggest hate fest on the last week of every season.

    Colorado vs. Old Big 8

    Unlike most of the schools trading conferences in 2024, Colorado is entering familiar territory. The Buffaloes were the seventh of eight programs to make up the Big 8 and remained in the league when it grew to 12 in 1996. By the time they exited for the Pac-12 in 2011, the Buffs had spent more than 60 years in the conference.

    Though the modern Big 12 is missing a few of the main characters from its Big 8 days, Colorado’s migration to the league means it’s reunited with the likes of Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State, all of whom the Buffaloes have played at least 47 times in their history.

    It remains to be seen how the Big 12 will structure its conference schedules. We don’t know how often Colorado and its Big 8 associates will assemble. But we know the Buffs will be playing their old, historic foes a lot more frequently moving forward than they have been for the last decade-plus.

    Texas vs. Arkansas

    Arkansas left the Southwest Conference for the SEC in 1992, four years before it fully dissolved. Prior to their exit, the Razorbacks had played the Longhorns every year dating back to 1932. Since these programs parted ways, they’ve met just six times.

    But more than three decades later, Texas still ranks second among Arkansas’s all-time most played opponents, while the Razorbacks are sixth on the Longhorns’ list. The animosity from back in the day isn’t the same as it once was, but regular competition could bring it right back.

    There is a portion of Arkansas fans who have never viewed Texas as anything but their top rival. That same tone doesn’t ring in Austin, but once the Razorbacks are routinely on the schedule, I’m sure Arkansas will return to the radar. There’s a lot of history between these two going all the way back to their first-ever meeting in 1894, and some close games will bring the best – or worst, depending on your perspective – out of the respective fan bases.

    Oklahoma vs. Missouri

    Oklahoma and Missouri both come in at the fifth position on each’s all-time most played opponents lists, a testament to how much history there is between these two former Big 8 schools.

    No, it’s not the marquee rivalry for either program – Oklahoma always had its eyes set on Texas and Nebraska, while Missouri was more fixated on Kansas – but you can’t play nearly every year from 1910 through 1995 and have nothing between you.

    Yes, the Sooners have won almost 70 percent of the 96 matchups between these two, and the dividing of the Big 12 into the North and South cut down their frequency of competition in the decade and a half prior to Mizzou bolting for the SEC. But there will be some added fuel to the fire when these two meet as conference mates again. It’s not on the same level as some other series on this list, but it does have more than a century behind it. Plus, Missouri is still looking for a rivalry dance partner more than 10 years into its SEC adventure, and while Oklahoma will still have Texas in the SEC, it’s also losing almost all of its historic counterparts in the move. The circumstances and familiarity will turn this into a matchup that both programs circle each preseason.

    Cincinnati vs. West Virginia

    Though their first game came in 1921, Cincinnati and West Virginia only played seven times prior to 1987, and the Bearcats didn’t muster their first victory over WVU until 2003. Any serious feelings between the two were kindled in the 2000s in the Big East – the Bearcats won at least a piece of the league’s title three times in the seven years they shared the conference with the Mountaineers when WVU was in one of its best-ever eras.

    Four of their seven games as Big East competitors were decided by five points or fewer. The outcomes of the 2007, 2008, and 2011 directly determined those Big East championships. It wasn’t quite the Backyard Brawl of the Keg of Nails, but it was turning into something.

    These programs haven’t matched up since Big East football dissolved, but they’ll now be each other’s closest opponent in the new-look Big 12. The conference will do what it can to promote this as a rivalry, and considering no one else in the league is geographically close enough for either fan base to interact with in person much, expect this to heat up as the years go by, especially if one or both can shoulder its way toward the top of the Big 12 pile.

    Houston vs. Old SWC

    When the Big 12 accepted Houston as a future member last summer, it guaranteed the revival of several Southwest Conference series that have been barely played or defunct for many years.

    From 1976 through 1995, Houston played Texas Tech, TCU, and Baylor every season as conference mates. Since then, the Cougars have come together with the Red Raiders six times, the Horned Frogs on five occasions, and not even once with the Bears. Now, you can expect these in-state showdowns with regularity.

    Those who haven’t experienced it cannot understand how deep football runs in Texas. It doesn’t matter what it means on a national scale – when old SWC teams go at it, the Lone Star State is on watch. Those of us who enjoy the regionality of college football are in for a treat upon Houston’s reunification.

    Texas Tech vs. Arizona

    Way back around the time when your grandparents were born, Texas Tech and Arizona shared a conference. In 1931, Arizona was one of five charter members of the Border Conference. One year later, Texas Tech joined the league to bump its membership total to six. That spawned the series in 1932. The Wildcats and Red Raiders met annually from 1946 through 1959 – though Texas Tech left the Border Conference for the Southwest Conference in 1957 – and renewed relations in 1971, competing against one another for eight straight seasons.

    Since 1980, Texas Tech and Arizona have played just three times, and the Red Raiders have mostly dominated their desert counterparts, thoroughly commanding the all-time series lead, 26-5-2. Whatever there once was hasn’t been around for a long time.

    But the landscape is different now, and this could become a fun series in the Big 12 if the Wildcats can do more against the Red Raiders than they have historically. Old tensions can be refueled if the action on the field lights a spark.

    Ohio State vs. USC

    There is plenty of distance between Columbus and Los Angeles, but the Buckeyes and Trojans have shared a field more often than you probably think.

    USC and Ohio State have had 24 all-time contests between them since they first clashed in 1937. A good chunk of those were intentionally scheduled – the programs had four different home-and-homes in the late 1930s and 1940s – but their historic excellence is the main reason why they reach rank within the other’s top 15 most common opponents.

    On eight different occasions, these teams have met in a big-time bowl, most recently in the 2017 Cotton Bowl. The other seven took place at the Rose Bowl, all at a time when the best of the Big Ten and Pac-10 defined the Granddaddy of Them All.

    These are two of the most successful programs in college football, and they already have notable history between them. I expect the Big Ten to lean into this series pretty hard and for it to become a secondary rivalry for both programs within the next decade.

    Texas vs. LSU

    The Longhorns traveled to Baton Rouge in 1896 for the first-ever football game between Texas and LSU, and the Tigers made the return trip three years later in 1899. The programs continued to schedule one another every so often in the 1900s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, but that came to a close following the 1954 contest. Since then, the teams have played three times – twice in the Cotton Bowl in 1963 and 2003, and once through intentional scheduling in 2019.

    A roughly seven-hour drive is all that separates Austin and Baton Rouge. These are two of the biggest teams in the SEC we’re soon to see, both with rabid, insatiable fan bases. There are ample cultural differences to encourage that delicious othering that fuels so many tasty sports rivalries. The all-time series record is tight (Texas leads, 9-8-1).

    All the ingredients for hate are here.

    CFB FAQs

    How are college football bowl games determined?

    Only bowl-eligible teams are selected for College Football Bowls. At the NCAA Division I FBS level, the standard by which teams become available for selection in bowl games varies. For example, in 2018-19 season, the team had to have at least as many wins as overall losses. Wins against non-Division I teams do not count toward the number of wins.

    How do you play college football pick'em pools?

    Simply pick winners from the games each week selected by the Pool Commissioner, either straight up or against the spread. Whichever member has the most points at the end of the season wins

    What is a football pool?

    "Football Pool" is a broad term for a group of people competitively guessing the outcome of one or more football games. There are many types of formats, each assigning winners differently. They can be played informally between friends or through a more formalized system. They are often considered a great alternative to fantasy football given the ease of playing, although there are fantasy football pools as well.

    How to run a football pool?

    How you decide to run a football pool varies greatly depending on the game type. In each case, however, you'll want to determine the rules and settings before you begin inviting members to join you. You'll want to clearly establish how score will be kept, how tiebreakers work, and how winners are decided before anything else.

    How to play squares football pools?

    Football squares are played by creating a grid, in which Team 1 takes the column and Team 2 the rows. In some cases, participants may claim as many squares as they like. In others, commissioners limit them to one. At the quarter times and end of the game, the winner is decided at the point the scores final digit intersect.

    How do you setup a college football bowl pool?

    To set up a college football bowl pool, you'll need to first choose if you will include all the games or specific ones. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As commissioner, you'll implement rules to ensure everything runs smoothly during the bowl games. Many use pool sites like RunYourPool to make the process easier.

    What is a college football squares pool?

    In a college football squares pool, a commissioner starts with a 10x10 grid of 100 squares (though commissioners decide to use smaller 5x5 pools). Members pick one or more squares in that grid. Winners are determined based on the score of each team after each quarter and at the end of the game.

    How many squares in a football pool?

    In a traditional football squares pool, a grid is sectioned off into 100 squares with 10 columns and 10 rows. This accounts for a direct relationship between each possible digit from 0 to 9 on both the X and Y axis. For smaller square grids like 5x5, multiple numbers can be assigned to each column and row.

    How to read a football squares pool sheet?

    In Squares formats, football pool sheets include a grid, where one team is the column and one is the row. Winners are determined at the end of each quarter when the last number in the team’s score (on each side) is matched to the numbers on the grid, and the intersecting square wins.

    How do you setup a college football bowl pool?

    To set up a college football bowl pool, you'll need to first choose if you will include all the games or specific ones. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As commissioner, you'll implement rules to ensure everything runs smoothly during the bowl games. Many use pool sites like RunYourPool to make the process easier.

    How do you win college football confidence bowl pool?

    The winner of a college bowl confidence pool is the member with the most points after all games have ended. Members rank each game based on how confident they are in their pick (44 points = most confident, 1 point = least confident). For each game picked correctly, members receive the number of points they assigned.

    What is a college football bowl confidence pool?

    Players try to pick the winner of every bowl game, assigning a point value to each game. Picks are made "straight up," not using a point spread system. Members rank each game based on how confident they are (44 points = most confident, 1 point = least confident). A winner is determined by totalling the point values assigned to correctly picked games.

    How do you setup a college football bowl pool?

    To set up a college football bowl pool, you'll need to first choose if you will include all the games or specific ones. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As commissioner, you'll implement rules to ensure everything runs smoothly during the bowl games. Many use pool sites like RunYourPool to make the process easier.

    How do you win college football bowl pick'em pool?

    As you might expect, the player who selects the most bowl winners will win their pick'em pool. You can win your college football bowl pick'em pool by choosing winners wisely, based on past performance, player starting status and other "intangibles."

    What is a college football bowl pick'em pool?

    In a College Bowl Pick'em pool members attempt to pick the winner of every College Bowl game (or a subset of games determined by the Pool Commissioner). Picks are made using the point spread system or "straight up", as assigned by the Pool Commissioner.


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