We've heard it so many times in our lives that we probably don't even hear it when we hear it anymore: "You can throw out the records when [insert any two rivals] get together."
Remember the Kick Six? Or those times Oklahoma State upset Oklahoma out of nowhere? Remember last season, when Minnesota was a nearly two-touchdown underdog against Wisconsin but won by three TDs? Remember those years when contender-level Oregon teams struggled to put away Oregon State? Expect the unexpected in Rivalry Week!
That all makes for good promo material, but generally, we can expect ... the expected.
In the years sandwiching the Kick Six, after all, Alabama beat Auburn by a combined 104-44. Despite the shock of upsets including the ones in 2001 and 2014, Oklahoma leads the Bedlam series with a record of 88-18-7. As jarring as Minnesota's win over Wisconsin was last year, the Paul Bunyan Trophy has resided in Madison for 21 of the past 24 years. And while the Civil War was a back-and-forth rivalry in the 2000s, Oregon has won 10 of the past 11 meetings by an average score of 50-26.
College football's richness, the sheer volume of noteworthy games, assures us some wacky results and wild rides. But does Rivalry Week give us anything wilder than the typical college football weekend? Or do we just think it does because of the importance of the games involved?
To answer those questions, I looked at the past 40 years of betting lines for 20 noteworthy rivalries being revisited this week -- 746 total games -- and compared the results to the past 40 years of lines overall.
What did I find out?