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Iron Bowl Voted "Top" College Football Rivalry

Derrick Henry scoring a touchdown.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 29: Derrick Henry #27 of the Alabama Crimson Tide scores a 25 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Auburn Tigers during the Iron Bowl at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 29, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

What better time than late November to reflect on college football’s greatest rivalries? The Associated Press’ Ralph D. Russo recently polled 42 writers and broadcasters, asking for their top five college football rivalries. Russo revealed the results of his poll on Tuesday:

  1. Alabama - Auburn
  2. Michigan - Ohio State
  3. Army - Navy
  4. Oklahoma - Texas
  5. Florida - Georgia
  6. Ole Miss - Mississippi State
  7. Notre Dame - USC
  8. Florida State - Miami
  9. BYU - Utah
  10. Michigan - Michigan State

Coaches come and go. Recruiting momentum ebbs and flows. Those factors, among many others, cause the order of this list to shift over the years. For example, “Go back 25 or 30 years and Miami-Florida State probably would have been near the top of most lists,” Russo points out. But the candidates, for the most part, remain the same. Even on off-years, these rivalries are fueled by decades of history and passion.

The Iron Bowl, which received 43% of first-place votes, reigns supreme in Russo’s fresh set of rankings. Alabama and Auburn have clashed 85 times, with Alabama leading the series 47-37-1. 

Russo’s voters might’ve been swayed a bit by the Iron Bowl’s recent signature moment: the mythical Kick-Six. In 2013, with 1 second left and the game tied at 28 a piece, Auburn’s Chris Davis returned a 57-yard field goal attempt from endzone to endzone, lifting the Tigers to an SEC title game (and eventually, a chance at a BCS championship). The most memorable play from the best rivalry in college football.