Cleat Geeks

Does Distance Matter in a Rivalry?

Does distance really matter in a college football rivalry? I say no and I’ve got the facts to prove it. It is roughly 200 miles between Ann Arbor, Michigan and Columbus, Ohio. There is almost 400 miles between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma, which is split in half because they meet in Dallas every year. Those aren’t too far, but there is some distance between these 4 rivals. Notre Dame and Southern California have in my opinion, just as fierce a rivalry, yet there is a whopping 2,100 miles between the two schools.

westVirginiaLogoWhy do I bring this up?TCU_BD_logo_400x400

Well I see a great and fierce rivalry that is brewing over 1,100 miles, and terrain that will give you everything from a beautiful mountain view to a fully functional live-stock yard. I’m of course speaking of the views from the mountains of West Virginia and the longhorns of the Fort Worth Stock Yard.

TCU kicker Jaden Oberkrom celebrates after kicking a field goal.

TCU kicker Jaden Oberkrom celebrates after kicking a field goal.

In 2012, the Mountaineers hosted the Horned Frogs and was devastated to lose that game in 2OT 38-39. Then in 2013, WVU traveled to Forth Worth with revenge on their minds and came away with a 30-27 win in OT. Last year with ESPN’s College Gameday in Morgantown and a national television audience tuning in, the Mountaineers let one slip through their fingers as TCU won 31-30 on a walk-off field goal by the Horned Frogs kicker Jake Oberkrom. This could shape up to be a rivalry that when the two teams meet all rankings and what is on paper go out the window.

The three statistical categories that mostly determine who wins a game shapes up like this. WVU has scored 98 points in three games, while TCU has scored 97 points. On 3rd and 4th down conversions WVU is only converting at 33.3% and TCU is even worse at 32.7%. Then if we look at the turnover margin it sits dead even a 9 apiece. This tells me that the Mountaineers should be sitting at 3-0 against TCU. So what happened? Big plays and the team that was losing never gives up.

That is what makes great rivalries. Knowing that if you turn that game on, you are going to watch a dog fight and two teams that are never going to quit.

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