College Rivalries: Who’s #1 According to Yelpers

College football season officially kicks off this week and with it, the teams of some the most historic college rivalries are going head to head on the field. But there’s been another battle brewing: the claim for Yelp fame — and alumni from universities far and wide have weighed in on Yelp why their Alma mater is the best!

Since I played offensive tackle for the mighty Aztecs of San Diego State University — and as far as we know, there are no ex-college football players in the engineering department — who better to break down all of the best college rivalries on Yelp? (Well, there might be someone better, but they asked me and I said yes.) With that, we decided to have a little fun with this rivalry theme and pitted the fiercest college competitors against each other to see which Universities lay claim to the biggest glory of them all: the highest rating on Yelp!

How’d we do it? In order to determine the ultimate victors, we first had to do a little math. We wanted to give a school in a smaller Yelp community (e.g., University of Oklahoma in Norman) a fighting chance against a school in a larger community (e.g., University of Texas in Austin), so we used something called the Wilson Score that looks at the proportion of total reviews and ratings of these schools on Yelp. This formula basically levels the playing field for a school that may not have as many overall reviews as its rival, but still has some serious 5-star game.

Without further delay (that would be a 5 yard penalty), read on to find out if your school came in #1!

1) Cal vs. Stanford: The Big Game
Final Score: Cal beats Stanford, 4.42 to 3.58
With 222 reviews and a 4 star average rating, University of California Berkeley came in with the highest Wilson Score of them all: proving that you don’t need to be an Ivy League to throw around some intellectual weight. Sorry Stanford, but looks like yelpers are chanting: GO BEARS!

2) Auburn vs. Alabama: The Iron Bowl
Final Score: Auburn beats Alabama, 3.02 to 0.66
The Tigers of Auburn lay a good ol’ fashioned country butt-whoopin’ on the Crimson Tide of Alabama.  The Tide will have to roll their way back to Tuscaloosa and hope for a better showing next year.  War Eagle, indeed!

3) USC vs. UCLA: The Crosstown Showdown
Final Score: UCLA beats USC, 4.25 to 3.88
USC holds the edge in the series 48-23-7 (with *ahem* two vacated wins), but a strong showing from yelpers ensures the Victory Bell stays with the Sons (and daughters) of Westwood.

4) Harvard vs.Yale
Final Score: Harvard beats Yale 3.17 to 1.19
In a rough outing for the Yalies, The Crimson rolls to a commanding victory. Hopefully the school that produced George W. Bush and Mr. Burns can regroup and come back stronger next year!

5) Ohio State vs. Michigan
Final Score: Michigan beats Ohio State 4.14 to 3.53
Hail to the Victors! Take solace Wolverines fans; even thought you’ve lost seven straight on the field, there will be no Gold Pants for the Buckeyes this year. The Ohio State University will have to wait until 2012 to get bragging rights back from the folks in Ann Arbor.  

6) Texas vs. Oklahoma: The Red River Rivalry
Final Score: Texas beats Oklahoma 4.24 to 1.12
Boomer Sooner? To borrow a phrase, not so fast, my friend. The Horns hook ‘em commandingly, representing the largest margin of victory of all the rivalries we looked at.  The folks in Norman got some yelpin’ to do!

7) Arizona vs. Arizona State: The Duel in the Desert
Final Score: Arizona beats Arizona State 3.37 to 2.46
The Wildcats “Bear Down” to take the Territorial Cup away from Sparky. Go paint “A Mountain” red, white and blue, Wildcats fans!

8) Washington vs. Washington State: The Apple Cup
Final Score: Washington beats Washington State 3.98 to 2.99
No joy on The Palouse this year, Cougar fans; The Huskies continue their domination of the series (66-31-6 all time).  

9) Army vs. Navy
Final Score: Army beats Navy 2.78 to 2.48
Bad news for Bill the Goat. In our closest Yelp College Football Showdown match-up, the Cadets eke out a win against the arch rival Midshipmen to bring the Thompson cup back to West Point. Don’t fret, Navy fans; you’ve won the last 9 on the field!

10) Oregon vs. Oregon State: The Civil War
Final Score: Oregon beats Oregon State 3.87 to 2.58
Oregon claims the Platypus Trophy (how appropriate!) as they have for the past three years on the field.  Yelpers got mad love for The Ducks!