Rivalries are important in college sports. It is the first games that are highlighted on one’s schedule. Trash talk is the common language. The hatred is passed through generations. This week, two rivalries were renewed. Penn State and Pittsburgh renewed their series. And TCU and Arkansas renewed an old Southwest Conference rivalry.
Both games were close in score and filled with tense moments.
Pittsburgh beats Penn State 42-39
Most First Downs: Penn State with 20
Most Rushing Yards: Pitt with 341
Most Passing Yards: Penn State with 332
Most Turnovers: Penn State with 4 Committed Turnovers
Time of Possession: Pittsburgh with 35:29 of Possession
2000 was an interesting year. In Pennsylvania, it was the last time that Penn State and Pittsburgh faced each other. Penn State was a new face in the Big Ten. Pittsburgh was a new face in the former Big East football conference. Penn State wanted a home field advantage when the discussing the playing schedule between the two schools. Although Pitt has hosted more games in the series, they declined.
So for 16 years, these teams did not play.
Things changed for each school since 2000. Pittsburgh has a new home field. Penn State's greatest coach was pushed out due to a scandal. Pittsburgh switched their logo on two occasions. And they are now in a new conference. No matter the changes, both teams still hate each other.
Over 68,000 people filled Heinz Field for the matchup. I don’t know how, but Penn State did not sell all their tickets.
Maybe those fans would've been needed for support after Pitt was winning 28-14 at Halftime. Yeah, this game could've easily been a blowout. But when you face your rival, you fight till the end. Penn State scored 25 points in the 2nd half while holding Pitt to 14 points. Despite the push, Pittsburgh came out on top. Penn State leads the series 50-43-4.
Arkansas beats TCU 41-38 (2OT)
Most First Downs: TCU with 26
Most Rushing Yards: TCU with 195
Most Passing Yards: TCU with 377
Most Turnovers: TCU committed two Turnovers
Time of Possession: 33:07 Minutes of Possession for UA
Ok, reader, let me give you a history lesson. Before there was Conference USA, the Big 12, and even the Mountain West, there was the Southwest Conference. From 1914 to 1996, this was the main conference in the Southwestern portion of the USA. Texas, TCU, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, SMU, Baylor, Okla State, Houston, Rice, Texas Tech, and Arkansas were the main members. In football, the conference consisted of every Texas team I mentioned and Arkansas. Let me say that this conference was very wild towards its closing. NCAA Sanctions rained down on a majority of the teams during the 70's-90s. SMU was sent off the face of the football earth with their famous Death Penalty Sanctions. Yeah, it was an interesting history.
I mentioned this because TCU and Arkansas were rivals in this conference. These two programs last faced each other in 1991. In 2016, TCU is a national contender while Arkansas can barely keep up in their division. No matter what, both teams are still very good programs with interesting histories.
This game went not one, but to TWO overtimes.
Let’s be short here, this game was amazing to watch. Both teams scored touchdowns in the first overtime. Arkansas clinched the win after a TCU touchdown. Yes, this was an upset. TCU is a heavy favorite to win the big 12 (Besides OU) and maybe they didn't want to lose like this. Nevertheless, both teams renewed a rivalry with an instant classic.
Rivals are important in College Football. After reading this, tell your rival that you hate them and that they are going to lose to your respective school.
Stay competitive America!
Lead Photo Credit: Daniel Hartwig