It seems like the hyperbole is already a little out of control here. Patriots-Colts, the biggest rivalry? Calm down, folks.
“Michigan-Ohio State is much bigger,” Tom Brady said today, cracking a wide smile. “Yeah, probably. We’ve had a pretty good run here for a long time. So have they. So you’re talking about two of the better teams that have played in the league here for probably the last decade. It’s probably because there’s been so many critical games. Even though they’re not in our division, we know them so well. And they know us so well.”
Agreed. Without question.
When ESPN ranked the top rivalries of the 20th century, Ohio State-Michigan was No. 1. Want perspective? Yankees-Red Sox was sixth.
Even established pro-sports rivalries lack that extra "something" that the best college rivalries have. I'd take OSU-Michigan, Auburn-Alabama, or UNC-Duke in basketball over any pro sports rivalry. And beyond just that, when all is said and done, will this one be remembered as Patriots-Colts?
Fair or unfair, probably not as much as it's remembered as Brady-Manning. Great rivalry? Yes. The best? Go to Brady for that answer.
Full disclosure: I am, indeed, an Ohio State alum from a family full of Michigan alums. Which might or might not sway my opinion in this case.