My clients are in Alabama; most of them are Alabama natives, and most of them attended either the University of Alabama, or Auburn University. There is a lot of ribbing that goes on between the alumni and fans of the two schools – most of it good-natured, but it’s clear that the rivalry can be intense.
(And, the folks who went to UAB are treated like the poor stepchildren.)
Actually it is/was more of a rural/urban divide more than anything else- early on, it was redneck/country ROTC agriculture and engineering students vs. urban liberal arts students. As time went on, and the military component was minimized, it was still country agriculture students vs. hippies in Austin.
Nowadays, both schools are overwhelmingly middle class suburban students, with a relatively small percentage of rural/agriculture students (A&M) and hippies/progressives (UT) acting as the ‘seasoning’ that makes the schools have some character.
And truth be told, both schools have hippies and rednecks- just maybe not in the same proportions. And A&M in particular has been more tolerant and progressive than you might suspect; for example, the first Hillel organization at a US university was started at Texas A&M in 1916, of all the times and places.
Tthe suburb in the middle is Fitzroy (also working class), which had it’s own VFL/AFL team for a century. 9 of the 12 foundation VFL clubs are inner city based and it would be an invigorating afternoons walk around them.
The socioeconomic class distinction has diminished but Collingwood still push their blue collar status despite being the wealthiest club in the competition while Carlton push their white collar establishment status despite being cash-strapped and utterly crap at football.
I guess also there was the professional versus amateur divide which only disappeared in the 50’s and 60’s. They had separate dressing rooms and I believe Len Hutton in 1952 was the first professional captain of the MCC. (Arthur Shrewsbury had been a captain in the 1860’s but they were professionally organised tours.).