Rivalry Week occurs near the end of the college basketball season where two rivals play one another; the most well-known college basketball rivalry is that between North Carolina and Duke. USF has two rivals – Santa Clara and St. Mary’s. However, these cannot be seen as rivalries. A rivalry is supposed to be an intense competition between athletic teams or their athletes. Rivalry games spark a passion in the athletes, coaches and fans. By definition, the rivalry between USF and Santa Clara is not typical since there is no passion in both the teams and the fans as there once was.
The rivalry USF has with Santa Clara and St. Mary’s is very lopsided. In the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 seasons, the basketball programs of St. Mary’s and Santa Clara have been performing well (finishing 42-22 and 36-26, respectfully), whereas USF’s basketball program has not been doing well (23-39 in the same time period). On the other side of the spectrum, Duke and North Carolina are two of the top college basketball programs in the country. Since Duke and North Carolina are both in the top ten in the rankings, it adds excitement in the rivalry especially since the schools play each other twice during the season. USF’s rivalries are not genuine due to the lopsidedness of the quality of the basketball programs.
Fan support for the basketball program also supports the idea for a lack of a true rivalry. Students should take advantage of the fact that they can get into games for free unlike at other schools, such as Duke and Texas A&M, where getting into games is a competitive thing. According to the Duke Athletics website, more than 1,200 students have to wait to see if they are able to get a ticket to a Duke basketball game. At Texas A&M University there is a lottery system for the games; students get a number and if your number gets picked, then you get to go to the game. Students should take advantage of our student section, Los Locos. The Cameron Crazies (the Duke student section, which consists of undergraduate and graduate students) are very dedicated to Duke basketball. The Cameron Crazies help the Duke basketball team, as should Los Locos do to help the USF basketball team. Since not a lot of students come out to support the USF basketball team via Los Locos, USF’s rivalry with Santa Clara and St. Mary’s cannot be seen as a true rivalry.
USF’s rivalries with Santa Clara and St. Mary’s are not true rivalries. USF’s rivalries exist due to the fact that all three colleges are located in the Bay Area along with the fact that they are Catholic-affiliated colleges (USF and Santa Clara being Jesuit colleges and St. Mary’s being a Christian Brothers college). The rivalries between Santa Clara and St. Mary’s can be improved if their basketball programs get better and if there were more student fan support. The rivalries can be revived if USF’s basketball program gets better, which will not be happening any time soon.