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Heat index: Where do the Pac-12 rivalries stand?

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Running down the Pac-12 rivalries based on how good they are right now.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

1. Victory Bell (UCLA/USC)

Personally I think this rivalry is a little bit tame in the genuine hatred department when compared to other rivalries based on how I have witnessed it firsthand living in LA. It seems more cute than truly bitter. However, it is the best rivalry in the conference right now for a lot of reasons. Coaches that don't really like each other, campuses just a handful of miles away from each other, two programs fighting to become Top 10 mainstays and the fact that the underdog has dominated the past three meetings make this one red hot.

2. Territorial Cup (Arizona/Arizona State)

Two very healthy programs fighting for the same upper-middle conference ground with good coaches and systems in place that don't like each other at all. What else do you want? These two teams have also seemed to be perfectly matcher year in and year out the past few years with the South title always in play.

3. Washington vs. Oregon

When healthy, this is the conference's best rivalry. The Pac-12's Ohio State vs. Michigan or Texas vs. Oklahoma. The problem is that Oregon took off light years ahead of Washington a little over 10 years ago and the Huskies are still nowhere near closing that gap. Once these teams start getting back around the same level, this should go right back to the top.

By the way, when it does, it needs an official name.

4. Apple Cup (Washington/Washington State)

This rivalry kind of got killed by both programs falling off a cliff in the mid-2000s, but it is still the best culture clash (wheat fields vs. software city) of any of the Pac-12 rivalries and there is so much hate here, that it should always be near the top.  Even if it isn't marquee right now, this is still a really great rivalry.

5. Civil War (Oregon/Oregon State)

Another great rivalry brought down by Oregon's meteoric ascension over the rest of their Northwest brethren. Also another great culture clash (hippies vs. hicks) that has a ton of hate simmering that will be ready to explode when the programs get closer to each other in strength.

6. Rocky Mountain Showdown (Colorado/Colorado State)

I have long trumpeted this as an underrated rivalry. The programs don't like each other, it's another culture clash and it is surprisingly back-and-forth given that Colorado State players in a lesser conference. I'm glad that this rivalry has been maintained at least thru 2020.

7. Jeweled Shillelagh (Notre Dame/USC)

I think most agree that this rivalry is overrated, but it is actually pretty entertaining right now with both programs hovering around the same level of strength. However, I just don't think these teams care about each other that much.

8. Legends Trophy (Notre Dame/Stanford)

Another weird Notre Dame rivalry, this one would be much further down the line if these two teams weren't hovering around the same level of power with very similar schemes and very good coaches. Because of this, this rivalry has actually produced three-straight great games that have played a big role in the race for the national title.

9. Holy War (BYU/Utah)

This heated rivalry drops down right now since it has been on a two-year hiatus. It will assuredly rise again though once the teams start facing off again. The hatred in this series isn't going anywhere.

10. The Big Game (Cal/Stanford)

I know there is a lot of fun in this rivalry, but it just seems like that to me at least for now, fun. This could probably be helped by Cal rising up and Stanford dropping a little, but even then, I think the academic focuses of both of these schools will keep the rivalry down the ranks.

11. Rumble in the Rockies (Colorado/Utah)

No. Maybe someday, but not now.