BYU vs. Utah and other top rivalries disrupted by conference realignment (6 items)
On June 11, 2010, Nebraska changed college football forever by applying for Big Ten membership. Little did we know what effect this would have on rivalries both far away and close to home.
Colorado defected for the Pac-12 soon after as that conference made a bold bid for Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech. The Big 12 decided to stay together after all, and Utah received the coveted invitation to the Pac-12. BYU decided to set out as a football independent shortly after.
Then, the Big 12 lost Texas A&M and Missouri to the SEC and picked up TCU and West Virginia. The Big Ten raided the ACC for Maryland and Rutgers. Teams fled the former Big East as if it was the Titanic, which in turn led the rebranded American Athletic conference to pick up C-USA teams.
Things seem to have calmed down, but some of college football's finest rivalries have fallen victim of the earthquakes of conference realignment.
Lafe Peavler is a national college football featured columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @MasterPeavler
1 of 6. Kansas vs. Missouri
This rivalry goes back farther than even college football itself.
The Border War has its roots in the pre-Civil War conflicts between Missouri and the then-new state of Kansas. The rivalry continued in a less bloody fashion as the Jayhawks faced the Tigers every year.
That is, up until Mizzou up and left for the SEC.
Yes, this rivalry wasn't as nationally relevent as some of the others, but as recently as 2007 both teams entered the game ranked in the top five. Besides, Missouri probably misses playing in the Big 12 against Kansas as it has gone 2-6 so far in SEC play.
2 of 6. Michigan vs. Notre Dame
Everyone wants to be Notre Dame's rival, but Michigan's rivalry with the Irish has been particularly entertaining. The last five games came down to 11 points or less, and four of the last five were decided by a touchdown or less.
Why would anyone want this to stop?
Even though neither team is making any conference changes in football, Notre Dame joined the ACC for basketball and has also signed a scheduling agreement with the ACC. Apparently, Notre Dame couldn't find any room for Michigan in the future.
Michigan head coach Brady Hoke accused Notre Dame of "chickening out," according to ESPN. Then, when the Wolverines beat the Irish 41-30 in the final game of this rivalry, Michigan fans danced the "Chicken Dance" to bid their former rival farewell.
3 of 6. Pittsburgh vs. West Virginia
The Backyard Brawl used to be one of the top five fiercest rivalries in college football. Who can forget when Pittsburgh ruined West Virginia's chance to play for the 2007 national championship? The No. 2 ranked Mountaineers fell to the Panthers 13-9.
All of that came to an end when West Virginia jumped off the sinking ship formerly known as the Big East to join the Big 12. Pitt wouldn't stick around for much longer and joined the ACC this season.
However, there's some hope that Pitt and West Virginia could play each other again as soon as 2015, according to FB Schedules.
4 of 6. Nebraska vs. Oklahoma
Nebraska started this whole mess of college football realignment.
The controversial ending to the 2009 Big 12 Championship Game had something to do with it as officials put one second on the clock after an incomplete pass. The Longhorns beat the Cornhuskers on the following play and Texas went to the BCS National Championship Game.
However, the Longhorn Network was enough to push Nebraska to run into the waiting arms of the Big Ten, even if it meant leaving the rivalry with Oklahoma behind. Thus ended a storied rivalry that spanned four conferences (MVC, Big Six, Big Eight and Big 12) and 71 consecutive seasons of pure rivalry goodness.
The sad thing is that we won't see the Sooners and Cornhuskers face off again until 2021.
5 of 6. Texas vs. Texas A&M
Watching the Aggies play the Longhorns used to be as much a part of Thanksgiving as the turkey. Now, that tradition has gone the way of the dodo.
The rivalry came to an abrupt end as Texas A&M left the Big 12 for the SEC last year. It's no secret that A&M resented the way that Texas lorded over the conference, and the new Longhorn Network was the final straw, according to Andy Staples of SI.com.
Of course, these two schools could have worked things out so that this rivalry would continue. After all, Florida makes time for Florida State and USC always makes sure to play Notre Dame.
Instead, pride won out.
Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin completely blew off the importance of this rivalry, according to CBS's Chip Patterson. "It's not relevent to us anymore. That's the whole point. It's not an important issue."
College football nation doesn't see it the same way. State Rep. Ryan Guillen introduced a bill to force Texas to play Texas A&M every year, according to ESPN.
It didn't pass, and Texas vs. Texas A&M is no more.