Florida has Georgia.
Florida State and Miami have each other.
Auburn has Alabama.
Army vs. Navy.
Ohio State vs. Michigan. Texas vs. Oklahoma. Oregon vs. Oregon State. Notre Dame vs.
Great football programs have great rivalries. So does the University of South Florida, relative newcomer to the exalted heights of Division 1-A football, have yet a rivalry on which to hang their collective fan hats?
There had been that push by Central Florida to make an interstate rivalry with South Florida, but there was and still is a legitimate fear that such a rivalry would keep USF (and even UCF) down as a second-tier school while the Big Three (UF, FSU, UM) slugged each other out.
The Bulls have built up a few years of serious games between the C-USA teams that jumped along with us to the Big East, like Louisville, but neither school has dominated the Big East in such a way to make the interconference rivalry mean something.
There's West Virginia: ostensibly the premiere team in the Big East (as most of the other long-history schools like Pitt, Syracuse and Louisville have struggled for consistent winning seasons). And there's been a few years when USF's victories over the Mountaineers ruined WV's seasons. But are we dedicated rivals? West Virginia - Pitt has more oomph...
Speaking of Pitt: one of the Bulls' biggest early historic wins - its first huge upset, really - was at Pittsburgh. It created the identity for the Bulls as a scrappy, upset-possibly team that no one should overlook. But agan, Pitt has West Virginia to keep it company...
I could throw out there UConn: Connecticut entered the Division 1 ranks about the same time as USF, and had repeatedly ruined South Florida's chances for New Years' Day bowls with late-season defeats. But like South Florida, UConn is new to this level of prestige, and there's not much of a natural rivalry - geography, personal animus, etc. - to speak of.
So... do we have a rival school? Is there a program out there that South Florida can build up a rivalry that would stoke the fans' passions once a year, give us something to rally around as an important game without question?
Sigh. I miss Western Kentucky already...
Which school is best for South Florida to maintain a football rivalry?
Florida (10 votes)
Florida St (6 votes)
Miami (57 votes)
Central Florida (63 votes)
Other Florida school - FAMU, FAU, FIU (2 votes)
West Virginia (83 votes)
Louisville (12 votes)
Pittsburgh (2 votes)
UConn (3 votes)
Syracuse (2 votes)
Western Kentucky (2 votes)
Ball State. Seriously, Ball State? This is the problem, folks, we keep rotating out our opponents every year, there's no damn consistency! (5 votes)
247 total votes