Determining which rivalries are the biggest is always a subjective thing. However, rivalry researchers Know Rivalry came up with a way to get some sort of a consensus to determine the biggest rivalries in sports.
Sports Business Journal then took their data and shared the top three rivalries in the four major North American professional leagues, plus the MLS and college football.
Fans of each team in those leagues were given surveys to fill out. These surveys involved assigning 100 total “rivalry points” to other teams. The more points, the bigger the rivalry. These were averaged and those averages were added together to give each rivalry an aggregate score.
Does that make sense? A little? No?
Well, anyway, here’s the list:
There were a few surprise rivalries in the survey’s findings
Coming as a surprise to pretty much no one, the rivalry with the highest score in all of professional sports is Yankees-Red Sox with a combined score of 162.2 points. Next up in Major League Baseball were Giants-Dodgers and Cubs-Cardinals.
Celtics-Lakers scored the highest in the NBA, while Bruins-Canadians came out on top in the NHL, just ahead of the always nasty Battle of Pennsylvania between the Penguins and Flyers.
One of the big surprises came out of the NFL. I think most people would’ve thought that Packers-Bears would be the league’s most-bitter rivalry. However, there’s a lot of animosity in the NFC South as Falcons-Saints scored higher than any other rivalry in the league.
The MLS’s biggest rivalry is confined completely to the Great White North. Fans of CF Montreal and Toronto FC’s scored the highest in the league, and you probably won’t find their fans splitting poutine any time soon.
The biggest surprise in Know Rivalry’s rankings has to come from college football. While there are numerous high-profile bitter rivalries to choose from, their methodology finds that the ugliest rivalry in college football is between Arizona State and the University of Arizona. That intra-state rivalry ranked just ahead of Army-Navy and Michigan-Ohio State,