Throwing out the record books?

I’ve tweeted about that phrase a lot this week.  “It’s a rivalry game, so throw out the record books!” and all its variations, in most cases, couldn’t be further from the truth.

Records of the favored team in rivalry games since 1995 are shown below; lines and results are from Odds Shark.

  • Alabama/Auburn 15-4
  • Baylor/TCU 6-3
  • Clemson/South Carolina 15-4
  • Florida/Florida State 16-3
  • Georgia/Georgia Tech 12-7
  • Indiana/Purdue 17-2
  • Michigan/Ohio State 15-4
  • Michigan State/Penn State 11-4
  • Minnesota/Wisconsin 17-2
  • Notre Dame/USC 14-6
  • Oklahoma/Oklahoma State 13-6
  • UCLA/USC 13-6

All games are alphabetical, just so no one gets peeved.  🙂  The favored teams have the worst results in Baylor/TCU, which may be because they’ve only played 9 times in those 20 years.  For all the others, it is overwhelmingly true — on average 75 percent of the time — that the favored team wins.

(Disclaimer: results from this year are not included, since I just decided to do the post today.  I’ll update it between now and next year.)