Welcome to a new College Candy feature: The Rival Rundown! We’re taking a look at the oldest, fiercest, and even funniest rivalries between colleges and universities all over the country. We’re going to be examining everything from mascots to mess halls to the most obnoxious traditions, all with the intent of determining which schools are ballin’ out of control.
And if you’ve always wanted to give props to your school on CC, now’s your chance! Shoot us an email explaining what’s awesome and unique about your school (or what stinks about Rival U) at firstname.lastname@example.org!
This week, we focus on one of the most intense rivalries in all of sports. Only eight miles (and immeasurable animosity) separate the campuses of UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University. Both are excellent schools with terrific athletic traditions. Between two seemingly similar schools, who will win the Battle of the Blues?
1. Mascot Matchup
UNC- The Tar Heels take their nickname from a reported exchange between Civil War soldiers about Carolina’s fidelity to the Confederate cause.
Duke- The Blue Devils got their name from an homage to French soldiers during WWI, Les Diables Bleus.
Three credits to: Duke. Though both nicknames have military origins, the Confederates eventually lost and the French were among the Great War’s victors. Way to pick a winner, Duke.
2. Terrific Traditions
UNC– Drinking from the Old Well on the first day of class for luck, as well as a popular bumper sticker proclaiming “God must be a Tar Heel since he made the sky Carolina Blue!”
Duke– Cameron Crazies–as Duke basketball aficionados are known–love setting up tents in front of their stadium awaiting tickets to games, sometimes days in advance. The infamous Coach K is reported to sometimes buy pizza for the thousands of loyal fans as they wait.
Three Credits to: Duke- free pizza and regular slumber parties? Count me in!
3. Famous Fixtures in Pop Culture
UNC- President Obama famously selected the Tar Heels for victory in his 2009 March Madness bracket. “Don’t embarrass me in front of the nation,” he told them. They didn’t.
Duke– The Blue Devils garnered a lot of press for their infamous rape scandal involving several lacrosse players. While the players were eventually exonerated, the case threw the issues of college hazing, sexual abuse, and handling the rights of the accused into the national spotlight.
Three credits to: UNC- if it’s good enough for Obama, it’s good enough for me.
4. Ass-kicking Alumni
UNC– Mia Hamm, Michael Jordan, Tyler Hainsbrough
Duke- Kara DioGuardi, Tucker Max, Grant Hill
Three credits to: UNC- hard to compete with Michael Jordan, one of the most recognizable celebrities in the entire world. The dude’s got his own sneaker, a campaign with Gatorade, and he was in a movie with the entire Looney Tunes cast. Beat that, Kara.
5. Acceptance Rate Agony
Three credits to: Duke– with a clear victory in admissions selectivity, it looks like more young’ns wanna be Blue Devils these days.
And the diploma goes to: Duke! Though Carolina leads the athletics series (as of last season), those from Durham score more all-around points.