What makes a rival?

So I came across a situation this weekend that made me think about rivalries from a different perspective. Some of my wife's family was up for a visit including my youngest nephew, who's just about to turn 13. We started talking sports after I took the Astros blanket he brought from home and gave it to the dogs to lay on. It quickly turned into a "what school" conversation, where he proudly exclaimed that he wanted to attend LSU along with joining the Marines. My father-in-law and I both tried to talk some sense into him about his school of choice, but he quickly reverted to the "who has more championships?" refrain to accompany his "Houston was the only team brave enough to confess they were cheating" argument, so I just went to get another drink instead of listening.

Now: a little bit about me. I'm a firm believer that we should resume playing against texas every year. They should be our Thanksgiving week opponent on every schedule. I also hold quite a bit of disdain for several other Big XII schools and could be talked into describing our history with some of them as minor rivalries. There is plenty of traditional hate for the Ohio States and Michigans and Miamis in my sports bubble, but of course none of those are our rivals. I view LSU as our in-conference rival, because screw the contrivarly with South Carolina. 98% of the hatred I have for UoSC is due to the stupid hats that say COCKS and the douchebag non-alumni who wear them, but I digress.

All this to say, when my (young, dumb) nephew brought up LSU, it didn't set me off like I would expect it to. Now if he were a junior in high school spouting that nonsense it would probably evoke a much stronger reaction, but do I actually hate the bayou bengals as much as I think I do? Or, as a poet once almost said, "if you can't hate the one you want, hate the one you're with."

So I pose this question to you, dear patient reader: say you have a young, promising, intelligent family member who is in the process of selecting which school to attend. Imagine that it's not your child, so none of the "my money is going to school XYZ" stuff. Cost is not an issue- they have a full scholarship to whichever institution they choose. What would they say that would bother you the most and why? Conversely, if they decided against our own humble alma mater, where would you most like them to go?

Post Script: Anyone commenting that getting the education is the most important thing and that sports rivalries don't actually matter will be forced to sit in the middle of town with a hat that says "I hate fun"

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