When thinking of the great rivalries in college football, a few names spring easily to mind: Oklahoma-Texas, Ohio State-Michigan, Cal-Stanford, Alabama-Auburn... But in 2012, a new, better rivalry was born.
After the sports world witnessed Iowa State defeat Tulsa 38-23 on September 1st this year (AKA The Greatest Football Game That Has Ever Been Played Or Ever Will Be Played), college football fans immediately began clamoring for a rematch. And the bowls delivered, although setting up the game proved to be more difficult than initially anticipated.
The Pac 12 and the SEC both placed two teams in the BCS, while the ACC, Big East and Big 10 both sent one BCS team apiece from their conferences. With Notre Dame taking a spot in the title game, that left two spots open. Kansas State won the Big 12 outright, so they were guaranteed a BCS berth. Oklahoma finished 11th in the BCS standings, having lost to two teams that finished a combined 23-1. So Oklahoma was guaranteed a BCS spot, right?
Wrong. So desperate was college football to see an Iowa State-Tulsa rematch that BCS voters placed Northern Illinois, a team that lost to the Iowa Hawkeyes in 2012; in the Orange Bowl over Oklahoma. Shady business to be sure, but the world was not to be denied this historic rematch.
And who could blame football fans? The first Iowa State-Tulsa game (AKA TGFGTHEBPOEWBP) was an instant classic. Look at the highlights!
- Steele Jantz's 43-yard TD pass despite technically being sacked.
- Tulsa's stout defense forcing a safety in the first quarter, although probably more attributable to Courtney Messingham suffering a stroke before calling the play.
- Iowa State spotting Tulsa 14 points in the first quarter "for competitiveness' sake."
- Iowa State deciding to get serious in the 2nd and 3rd quarter, rattling off 24 straight points.
- That smoking hot ISU coed in the first row who bent over at with 10:14 left in the fourth quarter, mesmerizing every single Cyclone player on the field and allowing Trey Watts to take a leisurely 77 yard stroll down the field.
- Deon Broomfield believing he can fly, picking off Cody Green for a 51-yard interception return to end Tulsa's last scoring threat.
With all the great moments from the first game, one can only hope that Storm Bowl II: Golden Shower's Revenge, can live up to the hype. But history suggests that this isn't always the case. In the past ten years, there have been eight bowl game rematches of regular season games, with the victor from the regular season game winning the rematch just three out of eight times.
|Bowl||Regular Season Result||Bowl Result||Same Winner?|
|'04 Gator||Maryland 34, WVU 7||Maryland 41, WVU 7||Yes|
|'04 Orange||Miami 22, FSU 14||Miami 16, FSU 14||Yes|
|'07 Las Vegas||UCLA 27, BYU 17||BYU 17, UCLA 16||No|
|'07 Motor City||Purdue 45, CMU 22||Purdue 51, CMU 48||Yes|
|'08 Armed Forces||Air Force 31, Houston 28||Houston 34, Air Force 28||No|
|'08 Eagle Bank||Navy 24, Wake Forest 17||Wake Forest 29, Navy 19||No|
|'10 Holiday||Nebraska 56, Washington 21||Washington 19, Nebraska 7||No|
|'11 Nat'l Champ||LSU 9, Alabama 6||Alabama 21, LSU 0||No|
So the odds aren't exactly in Iowa State's favor for their Liberty Bowl rematch with Tulsa. But that has only increased anticipation for this game, as the best rivalries are built on parity and familiarity. And given that Iowa State will see Tulsa AGAIN on September 21st of 2013, the Cyclones and Hurricanes will be insanely familiar with each other by the time that game rolls around. And that can only keep the newest, greatest rivalry in college football exciting.