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      Smack Zone — College Football Rivalries

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      Noles-Canes: a Faded Rivalry?

      [caption id="attachment_1285" align="aligncenter" width="474"]Hey, everybody! It's FSU-Miami week! Um ... hello? Anyone? Hello? Hey, everybody! It's FSU-Miami week! Um ... hello? Anyone? Hello?[/caption] They say a contest can only be considered a true rivalry if both teams have a realistic chance to win any given year. Oh, the tide might shift in favor of one team or the other every decade or so, but in general, rivalries tend to balance out over time. It is with this truism in mind that we remind everyone that this is, in fact, Florida State-Miami week. Cue the crickets. [caption id="attachment_1268" align="alignleft" width="300"]Florida State Click to get the shirt, Noles fans![/caption] It used to mean something. It used to mean a hell of a lot, in fact. Now? Meh. The No. 12 Seminoles bring a five-game win streak against the Hurricanes into Saturday's meeting in Tallahassee. That's two shy of the longest win streak by either team in the 59-game history of the series (Florida State won seven in a row in 1963-72). The most newsworthy thing about the U these days is Al Golden's immediate future with the program. In fact, a victory at the Doak might be the only thing that saves Golden's job. Um ... yeah. Good luck with that. Still, the Hurricanes can claim with pride the all-time lead in the series at 31-28. And Miami's five national championships still make the Canes the Kings of the Sunshine State. Oh, and Noles fans, lest you get a little full of yourself heading into the weekend, here's a little reminder of one reason why the Canes have won those five national titles. Two words: Wide. Right. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYTp7IbZ2uY]  

      Too Blue for You, UT

      [caption id="attachment_1091" align="aligncenter" width="474"]At UT's Neyland Stadium, there is orange. And there is white. It is arrayed in a checkerboard pattern. It does not seem to affect what happens on the field of play in any way. It's pretty, though. At UT's Neyland Stadium, there is orange. And there is white. It is arrayed in a checkerboard pattern. It does not seem to affect what happens on the field of play in any way. It's pretty, though.[/caption] Saturday afternoon at the Swamp will see a “blue out” for the Tennessee vs. Florida game. After beating Kentucky for the 29th straight time last week (you read that right), Florida looks to take down Tennessee for the 11th straight time. The SEC will have its eyes on this contest, as the winner has the upper hand in the race with Georgia to win the SEC East. Florida is trying to confuse Tennessee QB Joshua Dobbs by having the blue out. With so many blue shirts in the stadium, and blue uniforms on the field, how will Dobbs know where to throw the ball? The Swamp will be a no orange zone Saturday afternoon. Lots of teams utilize the crowd as an intimidation method. Or to try to rattle opposing players. Either way, not sure it is so effective. Penn State had a white-out last year against Ohio State, and ended up losing in OT. The white-out forgot to block for Hackenberg. Last week, Tennessee used their traditional checkerboard to rattle Oklahoma. They ended up blowing their largest lead ever (17 points) and wound up losing in double OT. At least it looked really cool. We will see how intimidated Tennessee is coming to an all blue stadium.  

      Smack Apparel Weekly Picks Contest! Win T-Shirts and Bragging Rights

      Welcome to the Smack Apparel weekly football picks contest, where t-shirts and bragging rights are on the line every week. To play, click this link: Smack Apparel Picks Contest. Once there, register at the top-right of the page. Next, pick your winners for every game and enter a score for the tie-breaker. Each weekly winner will receive three Smack Apparel t-shirts, and the runner-up will receive one t-shirt. Share this post on Facebook and Twitter and tag your friends. Don’t forget to remind them who’s the king of picking games with your best smack talk! To help you out, here are a few random thoughts on this week’s slate.


      Florida State at Boston College – Welcome to the ultimate Tea Party event. Northwestern at Duke – May the highest composite IQ win. Virginia Tech at Purdue – What’s a Boilermaker without a splash of Wild Turkey? Georgia Tech at Notre Dame – This week’s lock: A team with gold helmets will win this game. Nebraska at Miami – Hello, 2015? 1995 called. It wants its national championship game back. Baton Rouge DrinkingTownAuburn at LSU – So many Tigers. Rawr. South Carolina at Georgia – After last week’s shocker against Kentucky, the Ole Ball Coach needs to bounce back against his Ole Rival. Texas Tech at Arkansas – The Razorbacks have allowed one TD pass in two games. Tech’s Pat Mahomes might double that … in the first quarter. Florida at Kentucky – A chance for one of these teams to stake an early claim as an SEC East contender. California at Texas – The Horns could use a “get-better” game to right their season. This ain’t that. Rutgers at Penn State – The battle for the bottom of the Big Ten East. Pittsburgh at Iowa – Coming off a rivalry win against Iowa State, favored Hawkeyes could be ready for letdown. Stanford at USC – The last 19 times Stanford entered this game unranked, it went 1-17-1. Stanford is unranked this week. Do the math. Ole Miss at Alabama – The touchdown-underdog Rebs could win, but it would make some major history: Ole Miss is 1-27 all-time in Tuscaloosa, and the Tide has never lost consecutive games to the Rebs. BYU at UCLA – Hint for UCLA: If BYU QB Tanner Mangum drops back for a Hail Mary pass, pray.


      Bills Brady BunchPatriots at Bills – Rex the Wonder Coach and his upstart Bills try to announce their presence with authority against the Very Shady Brady Bunch. Seahawks at Packers – We’ll defer to Marshawn Lynch’s mom, Delisa, for commentary on this one. Actual, news-making, direct quote from her Facebook page after Seattle’s loss to St. Louis: "Too the smart azz media who wrote that's why marshawn didn't get the ball in the superbowl ,how many times did russell get sacked yesterday. Dont worry i will wait on the answer plus it was totally different at the superbowl the line was better than yesterday no blocking and to the offense caller who should have been fired yes i said it Fired !!! He is the worst play-caller ever the only reason he called that dumb azz play yesterday is to be able to justify the 1 yard that wasn't called in the superbowl ,but most fans already figured this out .were still on a mission but i know the Seahawks staff loves that play caller more than a win ,go figure ‪#‎nfldontpayme# I love this team and will stand up to anybody who tries to destroy it boom!!!!" We could not have said it better ourselves. Lions Vikings Keep CalmLions at Vikings – It won’t matter how well QB Teddy Bridgewater or RB Adrian Peterson play for Minnesota if the Vikes’ D doesn’t do much better against Detroit rookie RB Ameer Abdullah than it did against San Fran’s Carlos Hyde (168 yards on 26 carries). Texans at Panthers – Houston’s DL/LB J.J. Watt could very well be the best fantasy play of the week from this game. Cowboys at Eagles – Eagles RB DeMarco Murray had nine yards on eight carries against the Falcons in Week 1. Very, very, very safe to say he’ll perform better than that this week against the team that was too cheap to pay him after he set a Cowboys record for rushing yards in a season. DeMarco Murray Eagles Shirt

      The 10 Greatest College Football Rivalries

      [caption id="attachment_914" align="aligncenter" width="474"]Smack Zone - Steve Hill After a newsy (and boozy) offseason, college football is finally back! Illustration: Steve Hill.[/caption] By Bob D’Angelo, Smack Zone Contributor You live and die for your college football team. You savor victories against your hated rival. Losing is unthinkable. “I’d rather have a Pap smear and a root canal, simultaneously, than have Alabama lose to Auburn,” said author and Tide fan Bonnie Bartel Latino. You get the idea. Some rivalries date to the early 1890s, and we LOVE the fact that we are on the verge of starting yet another season. Here’s hoping that this year brings even more fuel to the smack bonfires of history. And now, we present the Smack Zone top 10 college football rivalries of all time:

      1. Ohio State vs. Michigan.
      [caption id="attachment_898" align="alignright" width="296"]College Football Rivalries Ohio State and Michigan is No. 1 on our list. Where did your team's rivalry land? Who did we miss?[/caption] The third Saturday in November usually has Big Ten and national title implications. In fact, Ohio State was No. 1 and Michigan was No. 2 when the teams clashed in 2006. Ohio State won 42-39 in Columbus. Interestingly, the Ohio Lottery Pick 4 drawing that night was 4-2-3-9. Michigan owns a 56-46-6 lead in this border war that began in 1897, but this series has been defined by two coaches. Woody and Bo. Woody Hayes had a genuine hate for “that team up north.” Late in the 1968 game, a 50-14 OSU rout, the Buckeyes went for two. Hayes was asked why. “Because they wouldn’t let me go for three,” he said. Michigan’s Bo Schembechler was a former Hayes assistant who went 5-4-1 against his mentor from 1969 to 1978. We might have a modern-day coaching parallel: Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh against Ohio State’s Urban Meyer. Time will tell. The two fierce rivals have an equally loyal fan base. When 10-year-old Ivan Applin needed heart surgery in Michigan, the Toledo resident was afraid the doctors “were going to make his heart love Michigan instead of Ohio State.” Doctors assured the boy his heart would not be trifled with.
      1. Alabama-Auburn
      College Football RivalriesThe Iron Bowl hosts the country’s best in-state rivalry. The teams began play in 1893 and Alabama owns a 43-35-1 series lead. The two most memorable games were Auburn upsets. In 2013, top-ranked Alabama attempted a 57-yard field goal with one second left in a tie game. Auburn’s Chris Davis fielded it nine yards deep in the end zone, then sprinted past the lumbering Tide field goal unit for a shocking 34-28 victory. Then there was “Punt, ’Bama, Punt” in 1972. Leading 16-0 in the fourth quarter, Alabama lost the game when two of its blocked punts were returned for touchdowns in a 17-16 final.
      1. Army-Navy
      These two teams rarely contend for national honors, but don’t call this game irrelevant. Since 1890, the series has produced five Heisman Trophy winners and a slew of Hall of Famers. The teams have clashed 115 times; Navy leads the series, 59-49-7. For pure national pride, this rivalry is untouchable. Pride, competition and patriotism rule.
      1. Florida-Georgia
      College Football RivalriesAs dawn breaks in Jacksonville, Florida and Georgia fans break out the Bloody Marys to kick off “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” Then the taunts begin. “Why does the St. Johns River flow north?” a Florida fan asks. “Because Georgia sucks.” Georgia fans counter with “Lindsay Scott.” The Bulldogs dominated this unpredictable series during the Vince Dooley era, but Steve Spurrier brought the Gators some swagger and victories in the 1990s. These rivals rarely agree. Georgia counts a 1904 game it won, while Florida claims its football program didn’t begin until 1906. It creates some lively debate over those Bloody Marys.
      1. Oklahoma-Texas
      For years, it was called the Red River Shootout, but 10 years ago it was renamed and is now called the more politically correct Red River Showdown. College Football RivalriesBy any name, this game has been bitterly contested since 1900 — seven years before Oklahoma was admitted to the Union. Sixty-seven times since The Associated Press poll began in 1936, at least one of the teams has come into the game ranked. The game has been played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas since 1932. Both teams’ locker rooms spill into a common corridor. Surprisingly, there have been no incidents; both teams prefer to settle their differences on the field.
      1. USC-Notre Dame
      Hands down, the nation’s top intersectional rivalry. It combines tradition, big names and the Jeweled Shillelagh. Each team can claim 11 national titles and seven Heisman Trophy winners. They have met 86 times since 1926; the Irish lead the series 45-36-5. In 1974 “the Comeback” showcased Anthony Davis, when USC overcame a 24-0 deficit late in the first half. Davis caught a touchdown pass with 10 seconds left before intermission, then opened the second half with a 102-yard kickoff return. That sparked a 35-point third quarter for USC and a 55-24 win. “That wasn’t very nice,” Notre Dame president Theodore Martin Hesburgh said afterward to USC coach John McKay, an Irish Catholic. “That’s what you get for hiring a Presbyterian,” McKay cracked, referring to Irish coach Ara Parseghian’s faith.
      1. Harvard-Yale
      It doesn’t have the sizzle of other rivalries, but this series crackles with tradition. The two teams have met 131 times since 1875 and have played annually since 1897. The most memorable game might have been Harvard’s 16-point rally in the game’s final 42 seconds to earn a tie in 1968. Smirked The Harvard Crimson the next day: “Harvard Beats Yale, 29-29.”
      1. Florida-Florida State
      College Football RivalriesIt took an act of the Florida Legislature to sanction this series, which began in 1958. Florida dominated for years, but that changed with the arrival of Bobby Bowden at Florida State in 1976. In the 1994 “Choke at Doak,” the Gators blew a 31-3 fourth-quarter lead and the Seminoles scored four touchdowns in a 31-31 tie. In 1996, FSU beat No. 1 Florida 24-21, but thanks to some timely upsets, the two teams met several weeks later for the national title. Florida won 52-20 in the rematch. In 1993, Warrick Dunn’s momentum-changing 79-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown at Florida Field sent the Noles to the Orange Bowl, where they would win their first national title. After that play, Dunn said, “you could hear a pin drop in that place.”
      1. USC-UCLA
      The two Los Angeles schools met for the first time in 1929 and play for the Victory Bell. Since the Pacific Coast Conference (the ancestor of the Pac-12) was formed in 1916, USC has won or shared 37 conference titles, while UCLA has won or shared 17. “Beating ’SC is not a matter of life and death,” UCLA coach Red Sanders said during the 1950s. “It’s more important than that.”
      1. Georgia-Georgia Tech
      A most underrated rivalry. Author Bill Cromartie’s 2002 book, “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate,” is an appropriate title for this series, which began in 1893. The Bulldogs own a 64-40-5 series advantage against their nearby rival.


      Did we miss any? Tell us who and why you think they deserve to be among the top 10 college football rivalries of all time. And be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this season for a steady stream of sports rivalry news and smack talk!