No matter what anyone says, having a rival is incredibly beneficial, no matter what walk of life you’re in. It helps to keep us motivated, and hungry for success, to prove that you are better than your enemy, and to achieve things they can’t.
We see it in business all the time. Take Coca Cola and Pepsi for example. On the face of it, they do very similar things, producing very similar products. Everyone will have their preference (if it’s not Coke, what is wrong with you?) but arguable neither would be as popular, or profitable, without the other one pushing them on. The same applies to McDonald’s and Burger King, or Pizza Hut and Dominoes.
Of course, it is a classic element of all sports, where one player, or team, is always aiming to not only be the best but specifically be better than another side or individual. In the world of tennis, we have seen arguably three of the greatest men’s players of all time in the last 20 years. Roger Federer, Rafal Nadal and Novak Djokovic have pushed each other to heights no one thought possible, not only winning major grand slam tournaments but playing with a speed, precision and grace that has never been seen before. Of course, every tennis fan had their favourite, and would always want the other players to lose, just as much as they would have wanted their player to win. As Federer’s and Nadal’s careers look to be slowly unwinding, it will be just Djokovic left. Will he have to try as hard without the other two breathing down his neck? Possibly not.
In the world of soccer, over in the English Premier League, there are two teams whose rivalry and hatred for one another has been brewing for decades. Liverpool and Manchester United are geographically very near to each other, and they also are close in terms of trophy wins. At different times, each has dominated English football; in the 1970s and 1980s, it was Liverpool, while the 1990s and 2000s belonged to Manchester United. When the fixture lists come out at the beginning of the season, one of the first games fans will look for is to see when Liverpool and United are facing off against each other. It is this game fans want to win more than any other.
This sort of rivalry of course exists in the world of college football too. Some of the most famous examples would be Michigan and Ohio State, Notre Dame and Southern Cal, or Oklahoma vs Texas. Another classic rivalry is between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs. Situated on either side of the Alabama/Georgia state line, whenever either of these sides takes the field, online sports betting fans will be searching for the NCAAF picks on their apps, to see what odds they can get. The rivalry has become more intense in recent years, as longtime Alabama assistant Kirby Smart left the Crimson Tide, to become Head coach of the Bulldogs, adding more fuel to the fire.
When the two teams meet, it really is an enjoyable encounter for everyone, no matter who they support. Let’s look at the two sides’ successes over the years and the recent run of results in matches between the two teams.
Crimson Tide has crushed all that come before them
If you are a fan of Alabama, then you are used to success. They have 933 recorded wins, which is second in the all-time records. They have picked up 18 Division titles, and 32 Conference titles. The Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa is a fortress, with very few visiting sides picking up positive results there. Having won the 2020 Division title, you imagine the Crimson Tide will be a contender yet again this year.
Bulldogs bark worse than their bite?
The Georgia Bulldogs are on paper the inferior side, with 15 Conference titles and 10 Division titles, but they are still a force to be reckoned with. In the four games they’ve played this season, they have a perfect 4-0 record, with their most recent win coming against the Vanderbilt Commodores, where the Bulldogs cruised to a massive 62-0 victory. In fact, the Bulldogs are ranked 2nd in the AP college football team list, behind only…yup, you guessed it, Alabama.
Head to head, who comes out on top?
The first meeting between the two schools was all the way back in 1895, where Georgia ran out 30-6 victors. However, they have an inferior overall record, with Alabama leading the all-time series 41-25-4. In fact, the Crimson Tide are currently on a six-game winning streak, which began in 2009. The most recent victory came in 2020, with Alabama cruising to a 41-24 victory.
They don’t get to play each other too often, but we know for sure the next time they do, the Bulldogs would love nothing more than to get one over their old rivals.
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