Mass. College Football: Must-See Rivalries

By Matt Noonan 

In honor of our so-called, “rivalry week,” we kick off our various posts with some of the best, as well as unique football rivalries, which occur in our own backyard. Some of them are historic, like Harvard-Yale or Amherst-Williams, while others include Bridgewater State-Framingham State or Framingham State-Massachusetts Maritime (Kelley Cup).

Here’s our list of rivalries that we’ve truly enjoyed over the past few years.

Harvard-Yale – No matter their records, this is always considered ‘the game.’ Harvard vs. Yale, The Crimson vs. The Bulldogs, underclassmen vs. alums, fans vs. fans. Harvard has been victorious in their most recent meetings, but don’t worry Yale fans because your Bulldogs have defeated the Crimson in prior seasons, too. This season, the two units will meet in Connecticut prior to Thanksgiving on November 23; so make sure to get your tickets sooner than later.

Amherst-Williams – Similar to Harvard-Yale, this is also ‘the game,’ too, and you can even watch it on television. Both teams have met 127 times, so this season will mark the 128th meeting, which will occur in Williamstown. Aaron Kelton’s crew, Williams, hasn’t defeated their rival since his first season on the sidelines in 2010, but could this be the year they snap their two-game skid?

Boston College-Notre Dame – The Eagles and Fighting Irish is a classic rivalry, but it may not have the same pizzazz as Amherst-Williams or Harvard-Yale. Over the past few years, Notre Dame has defeated Boston College. However, there was a time when the Eagles did soar past the Irish. Unfortunately, this rivalry will be put on hold this season as BC will face-off against a slew of different non-conference foes, which include Villanova, USC, Army, New Mexico State and Syracuse.

Framingham State vs. Bridgewater State has always been a classic local rivalry! (Photo: Matt Noonan for

Framingham State vs. Bridgewater State has always been a classic local rivalry! (Photo: Matt Noonan for

Northeast-10 Conference Rivalries – Five squads from the Bay State compete in NE-10, a very competitive Division II conference, but what is the best rivalry? It’s a toss-up, but maybe Bentley-Stonehill, Bentley Merrimack, Merrimack-Stonehill, Stonehill-Assumption, Assumption-AIC? Again, it’s hard to pinpoint a so-called rivalry, so feel free to let us know your favorite game from this conference, but all in all, these are five impressive units that always play their best on Friday or Saturday.

Bridgewater State-Framingham State – Two impressive teams, two great coaches and two passionate fan bases. This past season, the Rams of Framingham State defeated Bridgewater State, as well as stopped quarterback Mike McCarthy, a gunslinger that can beat opposing defenses with his legs. This season, expect a different outcome, but another hard fought match, though. The Bears have won four of their last seven meetings, while the Rams have captured the last three outings.

Framingham State-Massachusetts Maritime – Sure, this may not be the same game as BSU-FSU or others above, but as long as the Kelley family has one member on each sideline, it’s still a rivalry. Tom Kelley, head coach for Framingham State, calls this game the “Kelley Cup” because his son, Mike Kelley, is the Buccaneers assistant coach. Last season, Tom, guided his Rams to a 35-28 victory in overtime.

So, this was our list, but do you agree? Did we miss a rivalry? If so, which one?

Let us know your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog). Also, make sure to look out for other rivalry posts later this week.

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