SEC Championship Game Time

1 12 2009

Finally, here it is, the week of the 2009 SEC Championship game. Once again it’s the Florida Gators Vs the Alabama Crimson Tide. Since its creation in 1992, Florida has made 9 appearances and Alabama has made 6. Every time that Alabama has made it to the SEC championship they have been met by Florida. Florida leads the series 4-2 including Florida’s 31-20 win over Alabama just last year. Anyone who follows the SEC, or just either one of these teams, knows that when it comes to a game with this much at stake (just in case you’ve been living off where no sports media can reach you,  this is pretty much the semi-finals for the National Championship). Florida is looking for their quarterback Tim Tebow (2,166 passing yards and 796 rushing yards) and receiver Riley Cooper (703 reception yards) to lead Florida to a 2nd Straight National Championship. Alabama has some expectations from their leading players too. Alabama’s quarterback Greg McElroy (2,211 passing yards), Mark Ingram (1,429 yards rushing) and Julio Jones (545 receiving yards) are expected to lead the team to their first National Championship title since 1992. Alabama stands with the better offense, but statistically, Florida has the better Defense. Florida has only allowed 233.1 yards per game on defense, holding their opponent to only 9.8 yards per game. Alabama isn’t far behind with only 234.1 yards of defense allowed per game and only 10.8 points allowed per game. The game will take place on Saturday December 5th 2009 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta at 3:00 P.M. CST.


Rivalry Week 2009

24 11 2009

For the two in attendance, and the millions of you reading across the internet……Lets get ready for RIVALRIES!!!!!!!

The First game i bring to you is the Border War. Anyone who deals with a rivalry knows that its just a straight out fight, and what better to fight over then an Indian War Drum & the Lamar Hunt Trophy. Missouri and Kansas have been fighting this war since 1891. Dan George summed up the rivalry by stating “It’s more than the schools — it’s a state thing going back to the Civil War, when William Quantrill‘s Confederate guerillas burned Lawrence and murdered nearly 200 people. Neither Missouri nor Kansas folks have forgotten it.” The series between to the two stands officially tied (going by NCAA, cant stand it when conferences make their own rules and try to change rules mid season to get things swinging their way) 54-54-9 even though there is some controversy over a player being disqualified due to a school booster using funds to persuade him to come to that school (Kansas was the school he played for). This just added more fuel to the fire of this rivalry, which, even though by request of the athletic directors of the schools not to be called this, is the Border War.

 Next on the list we have the  Iron Bowl. For those of you not around the south, the Iron Bowl is THE rivalry of rivalries. When people think of Alabama playing against Auburn, they equate it to things such as the North fighting against the South… The Axis versus the Allies… some even go as far as to compare it as the battle of good and evil. It gets intense around here and some people tend to get hurt while waiting for the weekend or in this horrid case because of CBS wanting to grab some ratings, Friday to come around for the game to be played to give the fans the bragging rights they have truly earned. The series originated in 1893 with the two schools playing against each other in Birmingham, Alabama (that’s where the iron came from) The Crimson Tide currently lead the rivalry 39-33-1. This year’s game will be played at Auburns site where Alabama has lost its last six visits.

Now I bring you “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate”. Words that could only be used to describe the Georgia vs. Georgia Tech game. The rivalry between these two schools also began in 1893.  The heated rivalry goes all the way back to truthfully 1891 when UGA began to mock Tech for its choice of school colors. The fire only burned stronger as time passed by with UGA once again offending the Yellow Jackets in 1919 by having a parade celebrating UGA’s return to football while making fun of Georgia Tech students for continuing to play football during war time. With only 70 miles between the schools (UGA in Athens, and GA Tech in Atlanta) the schools are in constant competition against each other not only for recruits, but for state funding and for recognition from their home state as well. The winning school of the years football game receives the Governor’s Cup Finally, I just really like the name given to this rivalry.

Next up on the Rivalry list we have the Texas Longhorns, and the Texas A & M Aggies. These being the two oldest public schools in the state of Texas, their rivalry is a natural one. Texas and A & M have been competing against each other since 1894, but their rivalry has been adjusted to spread bragging rights based on all sports rather then just football. in 2004 a points system was introduced. Points are awarded for all sports in which both schools maintain an intercollegiate team. Each sport is worth one point, which is awarded to the winner of the head-to-head matchup between the two teams. If the head-to-head matchup ends in a tie, each team receives ½ point. In baseball, the team that wins the regular season three-game series is awarded one point. In sports where the teams meet twice during the season — currently softball, volleyball, and men’s and women’s basketball — each contest is worth ½ point. If the universities do not compete in head-to-head regular season competition, the university that places higher at the Big 12 Conference Championship will earn the point. Should the universities tie in Big 12 Conference Championship competition the point will be split between the two schools. In the sport of track and field, multi-school meets do not count as head-to-head competition. There are a total of 19 possible points, with 10 points needed to win. In the event of a 9½ to 9½ tie, the winner of the previous year will retain the title for the following year. Texas currently leads the points run 3-2 with a possible tie of the series pending on the rivalry game this weekend. (if A & M manages to tie the points, according to the rules of point, they will retain the title since they were the previous years winner.)

And for the next big game, we have Virginia Tech at Virginia playing for the Commonwealth Cup. This match up rolls back to 1895 when the schools started playing each other. From what I’ve gathered, aside from just a game between people from really close places to each other, there’s not much to this. With the Va Tech Shooting, the rivalry became even less intense. Many fans on both sides of the rivalry have reported a lessening of hostilities between the two universities while maintaining the same intensity of the rivalry in the wake of the Virginia Tech Massacre. According to The Washington Post “students in both camps are more apt to think of themselves as simply Virginians.” UVa students were amongst the first university students to lend support to the comrades at Virginia Tech in the wake of the shootings. Likewise, the connections between the two university’s populations are often very close. Prior to the 2007 football contest in Charlottesville both college’s bands participated in a joint performance. However, the intensity of the rivalry was still as spirited as ever, with both sides cheering passionately for their own team as a berth to the ACC Championship game was on the line. “…there was the sense among Tech students that fans of U-Va. – an institution founded by none other than Thomas Jefferson – looked down their noses at the mountain-ensconced Hokies of Blacksburg. Hokies were “hicks”; Cavaliers were “snobs.” But after the shootings in April, something changed. U-Va. students and faculty members wrote condolence letters, held a candlelight vigil and even painted the campus’s fabled Beta Bridge with a pro-Hokies phrase.” — Jonathan Mummolo, The Washington Post U-Va.’s student newspaper reported that students in Charlottesville were even sporting Hokie sweatshirts on occasion in observance of the tragedy. The University’s Z Society went so far as unveiling a 65′ x 120′ Virginia Pride flag featuring both UVA and VT logos on it during the annual football game, and it was noted that the two fan bases had never been so close as they were after the shootings. “Since the tragedy, it hasn’t been so odd to see a Wahoo wearing a Virginia Tech sweatshirt. Since April, transfer students haven’t felt so awkward saying they used to attend school in Blacksburg. Truly, Hokies and Wahoos have never been so together.” — Eric Kolenich, The Cavalier Daily.

Next up on the list is Pittsburgh playing at West Virginia in The Backyard Brawl. This rivalry rolls back to 1895 when the first game was played. The rivalry basically exists because, you guessed it, the schools are basically in each other’s back yard. Pittsburgh currently leads the series 61-37-3. The 1921 edition of The Backyard Brawl was the first football game to be broadcast over the radio airwaves. Other then the 2007 Pitt team knocking the then number two ranked West Virginia out of the BCS National Championship game, there hasnt really been much to fuel this rivalry then, they’re competing for the same stuff as GA-GA tech.

Another heated rivalry taking place this weekend is the Holy War. The fierce rivalry between the Utah Utes and the Brigham Young Cougars. The big thing that fuels this fire is…..dum dum dum… religion.  Utah is the Mormon capital of the world, so to no surprise, BYU is a Mormon owned school. Utah, being a state owned school, is non-secular. BYU fans accuse Utah fans of being drunks, although many of Utah’s fans are also Mormons, and alcohol is against the Mormon code. Many non Mormon Utes fans love to mess with BYU fans by drinking lots of coffee, swearing and generally going against the Mormon code. The series started in 1895 ( or 1922 according to BYU) Utah leads the series 53-33-4 (or 50-30-4 depending on when it started).  The two schools are approximately 50 miles apart, so its not uncommon for them to constantly compete over recruits, fans and funding. The rivalry began to change in 1993, during Ron McBride’s fourth season as head coach, the Utes won their first game in Provo in twenty-two seasons and their first since LaVell Edwards became BYU head coach. Utah’s kicker, Chris Yergensen, had already missed two out of three field goals on the day. This time, however, Yergensen did not miss and kicked the game-winning 55-yard field goal (the longest of his career) as time expired.After the win, Utah fans and players attempted to tear down the north end zone goalpost at what was then Cougar Stadium. Cougar players returned to the field to protect the goalpost from being torn down. About the incident, Lenny Gomes, a BYU nose guard, said, “Typical Utah bullshit. All those guys think that’s all there is to life. But when I’m making $50–60,000 a year, they’ll be pumping my gas. They’re low-class losers.” The remark is still remembered in rivalry history today.The 1994 season was McBride’s best, as he led the Utes to a 10–2 record and a top-10 finish in national rankings. The Utes and Cougars also staged one of the best matchups in the rivalry’s history, meeting for the first time as top-25 ranked teams. The Utes won the game 34–31, which was coincidentally the same score of their meeting a year before. Utah ran its rivalry winning streak up to three games a year later, with a 34–17 win at BYU. The Utes and Cougars would trade wins and losses the next couple of years, before the 2000 season. During the 1999 edition of the Holy War, Utah recorded its fourth consecutive win in Provo. Early in the fourth quarter, Utah scored a touchdown when quarterback T.D. Crowshaw completed a four-yard-pass to Donny Utu to put Utah up 20–10. In celebration, Utah cheerleader Billy Priddis ran along the visitor’s sideline with a large “U” flag. An unidentified BYU fan ran onto the sideline and tackled Priddis from behind. Priddis turned around and started punching the fan. He landed seven or eight punches before security separated them. About the incident, Priddis said, “”There’s 65,000 fans here, does he think I’m not going to retaliate?” Utah had another undefeated season in 2008 and defeated BYU 48–24. By doing so, they captured another invitation to a BCS game, where they were matched up with the highly favored Alabama. Utah beat Alabama 31–17 for their second BCS victory in five years. BYU’s team slogan in 2008 was “Quest for Perfection,” and T-shirts bearing that slogan were made widely available. However, BYU’s quest for a perfect season ended at TCU, and Utah, who did finish with a perfect record, created red shirts bearing the Utah logo and the slogan “The Quest Perfected.”

This next rivalry is near and dear to my heart as I have an ex-girlfriend who is a big Clemson fan. Naturally I pull for South Carolina (Shout out to my boy Darian Stewart #24) every year since then in the Battle of the Palmetto State. Stick with me people because the next might get long and boring, but it is needed to completely understand where it all came from. Unlike most major college rivalries, the Carolina-Clemson rivalry did not start innocently. In fact, the seeds of bitterness were planted even before Clemson became a college. The two institutions were founded 88 years apart: South Carolina College in 1801 and Clemson Agricultural College in 1889.South Carolina College was founded in 1801 to unite and promote harmony between the Lowcountry and the Upcountry. It closed during the Civil War when its students aided the Southern cause, but the closure gave the politicians an opportunity to reorganize it to their liking. The Radical Republicans in charge of state government during Reconstruction opened the school to blacks and appropriated generous funds to the University, much of which was embezzled. These actions caused the white citizens of the state to withdraw their support for the University and view it as a symbol of the worst aspects of Reconstruction. The Democrats returned to power in 1877 following their decisive electoral victory over the Radical Republicans and promptly proceeded to close the University. Sentiment in the state favored opening an agriculture college so the University was reorganized as the South Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. In 1882, the college was renamed to its antebellum name, South Carolina College, which infuriated the farmers because they felt that the politicians had frustrated the will of the people by deemphasizing agriculture education, even though the school still retained the department of agriculture. Benjamin Tillman emerged in the 1880s as a leader of the agrarian movement in South Carolina and demanded that the South Carolina College take agricultural education more seriously by expanding the agriculture department. In 1885, Tillman was convinced of the superiority of a separate agricultural college by Stephen D. Lee, then the President of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi, and subsequently Tillman would accept nothing less than a separate agriculture college in South Carolina. He offered the following reasons why he felt that it was necessary to have a separate agriculture college outside the confines of Columbia:

Mississippi A&M featured practical training without unnecessary studying of the liberal arts.

Mississippi A&M provided poor students work-scholarships so that they could attend the college.

There were too few students who studied agriculture at the College to justify an agriculture college there.

The College was a place “for the sons of lawyers and of the well-to-do” who sneered at the agriculture students as if they were hayseeds.

The students at the College lived a life of luxury as compared with the sweat and toil endured by students at Mississippi A&M.

There was not enough farm land near the College to allow for proper agriculture study.

The Conservatives, who held the reins of power in South Carolina from 1877 to 1890, replied to each point made by Tillman:

The most advanced agriculture educational research was being conducted at the University of California and at Cornell University, both of which combined agriculture colleges with liberal arts colleges. Additionally, a separate agriculture college would be more expensive and result in an inferior product.

The work scholarships attracted the lowest quality of students who only cared about obtaining a college degree, not about an education in agriculture or mechanical studies. Furthermore, there was little advantage of attending a college only to pitch manure and grub stumps.

The constant attacks by Tillman on the College caused many to doubt whether state support for the institution would continue. As a result, the enrollment numbers were not impressive, although the numbers of students taking agriculture and mechanical classes increased from 34 in 1887 to 83 in 1889. Over half of the students at the College were the sons of farmers, though most did not study agriculture as Tillman wished. John McLaren McBryde, President of the College, correctly predicted that most students of an agriculture college would not go back to work the farm after graduation. While some students at the College were the sons of the well-to-do, the majority were poor.Tillman was bolstered in 1886 when Thomas Green Clemson agreed to will his Fort Hill estate for the establishment of an agriculture college. Yet, Tillman did not want to wait until Clemson died to start a separate agriculture college so he pushed the General Assembly to use the Morrill funds and Hatch funds for that purpose. Instead, the legislature gave those funds to the South Carolina College in 1887 which would use them along with a greater state appropriation to reorganize itself as the second University of South Carolina and to also greatly expand the agriculture department. After this victory for South Carolina, in January 1888 Tillman wrote a letter to the News and Courier that he was retiring from public life.It was less than ninety days when Tillman reemerged on the scene upon the death of Thomas Green Clemson in April 1888. Tillman advocated that the state accept the gift by Clemson, but the Conservatives in power opposed the move and an all out war for power in the state commenced. The opening salvo was fired by Gideon Lee, the father of Clemson’s granddaughter and John C. Calhoun’s great granddaughter Floride Isabella Lee, who wrote a letter on her behalf to the News and Courier in May that she was being denied as Calhoun’s rightful heir. Furthermore, he stated that Clemson was egotistical and “only wanted to erect a monument to his own name.”In November, Lee filed a lawsuit in Federal Court to contest the will which ultimately ruled against him in May of 1889.The election of 1888 afforded Tillman an opportunity to convince the politicians to accept the Clemson bequest or face the possibility of being voted out of office. He demanded that the Democratic party nominate its candidates by the primary system, which was denied, but they did accept his request that the candidates for statewide office canvass the state. Tillman proved excellent on the stump, by far superior than his Conservative opponents, and as the Democratic convention neared there was a clear groundswell of support for the acceptance of Clemson’s estate. He was so effective because of his “ability to awaken popular passion and prejudice” when the populace by and large mistook “prejudice for truth, passion for reason, and invective for documentation.” Tillman pitted “the poor against the rich, tenant against landowner, hireling against employer, country against town, all of South Carolina against Charleston and Columbia, upcountry against lowcountry, white against black, do-somethings against do-nothings, and outs against those in power” so that “he could rile them up and then appear as their champion.” In addition, the Conservative leadership was aging and its appeal to the past glories of South Carolina during the antebellum period meant little to the emerging younger generation.Tillman explained his justification for an independently controlled agriculture college by pointing to the mismanagement and political interference of the University of South Carolina as had occurred during Reconstruction. The agriculture college, as specified in Clemson’s will, was to be privately controlled and thus would be able to prevent any “possible invasion by the negroes”. With declining cotton prices, Tillman preyed upon the farmer’s desperation by stating that the salaries of the college professors were exorbitant and it must be a sign of corruption. Consequently, the legislature was compelled to pass the bill to accept Clemson’s bequest in December of 1888, albeit with the tie-breaking vote in the state Senate from Lieutenant Governor William L. Mauldin. Thus was reborn the antagonistic feelings of regional bitterness and class division that would plague the state for decades. Having achieved his agriculture college, Tillman was not content to sit idly by because what he really desired was power and political office. After winning the 1890 election and becoming Governor, Tillman renewed the attacks on the Conservatives and those who had thwarted his agriculture college. He saved the coup de grâce for Senator Wade Hampton III, a South Carolina College graduate and Confederate General during the Civil War, who “invoked Confederate service and honor as a barrier to Tillmanism.” Tillman directed the legislature to defeat Hampton’s renomination for another term in December of 1890, thereby finishing what Sherman had left undone in 1865.While campaigning for Governor in 1890, Tillman leveled his harshest criticism towards the University of South Carolina and threatened to close it along with The Citadel, which he called a “dude factory.” Despite the rhetoric, Tillman only succeeded in reorganizing the University of South Carolina into a liberal arts college while in office. It would eventually be rechartered for the last time in 1906 as the University of South Carolina. However, Clemson Agricultural College held sway over the state legislature for decades and was generally the more popular college during the first half of the 20th century in South Carolina. The rivalry started in 1896. after 106 meetings, Clemson leads, 65-37-4.

Next up, the Colorado State – Wyoming Border War. Nothing is really special about this rival aside from rivalry based on location. Colorado State leads the series 55-40-4. In 1968, the ROTC detachments of the respective schools initiated the Bronze Boot, a traveling trophy awarded to the winner of the “Border War” each year. The boot was worn in the Vietnam War by Cpt. Jeff Romero, Sr., a Colorado State graduate and Army ROTC instructor at CSU between 1967 and 1969. Each year leading up to the Wyoming-Colorado State game, the game ball is carried in a running shuttle relay by the ROTC detachment of the visiting team down US 287 to the Wyoming-Colorado state border, where the home team’s ROTC detachment receives it and runs the game ball to the stadium hosting the game. The trophy is guarded by the ROTC unit of the past year’s winning school during the game. Colorado State University leads the trophy series at 21-20.

Off now to the Duel in the Desert and the Territorial Cup. The “Territorial Cup” also known as the “Duel in the Desert” is the rivalry between ASU and UA and is among the nation’s oldest and most heated rivalries, including the oldest trophy in college football. The winner of the game is then given possession of the Territorial Cup until the game is played the next year. In the modern era of the game, it is played on the day after Thanksgiving (and in recent years on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to accommodate network television coverage). The rivalry dates back to before Arizona was admitted as a state, and was a U.S. Territory. In the early history of Arizona, a resentment between the cities of Phoenix and Tucson emerged. The University of Arizona was founded in 1885 as the state’s first university. The same year, Tempe Normal School was founded as a small teacher’s college in the farming community of Tempe, just east of Phoenix. Over the years, Tempe Normal School evolved into Arizona State Teacher’s College, then Arizona State College at Tempe, and eventually Arizona State University. Although both athletic programs have been consistently in the top 20 in the Director’s Cup standings for the past decade, the two schools have featured a difference in athletic strengths. The rivalry started in 1899. University of Arizona currently leads the cup series 45-36-1.

The Bedlam Series is, like most other intrastate rivalries, a rivalry that goes beyond one or two sports. Both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have rivalries with other schools, though most of those rivalries are limited to one or two sports at the most. When the Bedlam Series gained Ford and the Bank of Oklahoma as corporate sponsors, the series became much more formalized. A points system was adopted in order to award a winner of the all athletic competitions combined between the two schools. A crystal bell trophy is awarded to individual Bedlam game winners (such as football), in addition to a trophy for the overall series champion for that year. The “Bedlam Bell” is modeled after the bell clapper in Old Central, the oldest building on Oklahoma State’s campus. For a time, the actual bell clapper was a traveling trophy for the two schools, until the popularity of this tradition waned. Oklahoma currently leads the series 79-15-8 which started in 1904.

Moving on, we have the Washington-Washington State rivalry. This one seems so boring that I’m just going to use the Apple Cup Wikipedia entry to fill this slot in. The Apple Cup is the annual college football rivalry game between the two largest universities in the U.S. state of Washington; the University of Washington (UW) Huskies and the Washington State University (WSU) Cougars. It is traditionally the final game of the regular season and takes place on the Saturday preceding Thanksgiving at Husky Stadium in Seattle during odd years, and WSU’s Martin Stadium in Pullman during even years. From 1950-80 (except for 1954), WSU hosted the game at Spokane’s Joe Albi Stadium. The WSU Cougars won three of these fifteen games in Spokane (1958, 1968, 1972), and have won six of the fourteen played at Martin Stadium (1982, 1988, 1992, 1994, 2004, 2008).Before 1962, the teams played for the “Governor’s Trophy.” The game was renamed the “Apple Cup” in 1962 because of Washington’s famous apple crop. The Apple Cup trophy has been awarded to the winning team ever since. With the recent lengthening of the regular season schedule to 12 games, there was a movement change the date of the Apple Cup from the weekend before Thanksgiving to the weekend following. This would have allowed a bye week sometime during the season. In the 2006 season, both teams played 12 straight weeks without a break, leaving the two teams noticeably fatigued. For the first time, the 2007 edition of the Apple Cup was played two days after Thanksgiving. The Apple Cup has been sponsored by Boeing since 2007.The first rivalry game was held in 1900 and resulted in a tie between UW and WSU. From 1900 to 2008, there have been 101 games between the schools. The Huskies hold a 64-31-6 advantage. UW’s longest winning streak has been eight games, achieved twice: (1959-66 and 1974-81). WSU has never won more than two consecutive Apple Cups, but the Cougars have won back-to-back games on eight separate occasions: (1929-30, 1953-54, 1957-58, 1967-68, 1972-73, 1982-83, 2004-05 and 2007-08). Although Washington currently leads the overall series, the Cougars have taken four of the past five meetings including a double-overtime win in the 2008 meeting. Washington leads the series 64-31-6.

With the Mississippi State vs. Mississippi Egg Bowl I was expecting more of a feud to have started the rivalry then anything else. So, with the same boring info I bring you more Wiki info. Early in the series, Mississippi State dominated, and had only lost five times in the first twenty-three contests. When Ole Miss beat MSU, then known as Mississippi A&M College, 7-6, the Ole Miss fans rushed the field, some trying to tear the goalposts down. A&M fans did not take well to the Ole Miss fans celebrations, and fights broke out. Some A&M fans defended the goal posts with wooden chairs, and several injuries were reported. To prevent such events in the future, students of the two schools created the “Golden Egg”, a large trophy which has been awarded to the winning team each year since 1927. The trophy is a large football-shaped brass piece mounted to a wooden base and traditionally symbolizes supremacy in college football in the state of Mississippi for the year. The footballs used in American football in the 1920s were considerably more ovoid and blunter than those in use today and similar to the balls still used in rugby; the trophy thus, to modern eyes, more resembles an egg than a football. The awarding of the “Golden Egg” was instituted in 1927 by joint agreement between the two schools’ student bodies. Ole Miss leads the rivalry that started in 1901 60–39–6.

Next up we got the Toledo – Bowling Green Battle of I-75. This one is a little more interesting then the last ones (enough that I’m not just going to give you stuff from the Wiki then be done with it.) These two schools are only about 20 miles apart from each other, making the pressure to get recruits and fans from the local area much harder then some others. The winner of the battle is awarded the Peace Pipe Trophy (yep that’s right, a Native American peace pipe). The rivalry between UT and BGSU goes back to 1919. The games were (and to an extent still are) marked by a passionate fan following and a hatred for the respective opponent. In 1935, fans rioted following a 63-0 blowout win by UT and as a result, BGSU removed the Rockets from their athletic schedule until 1947. That year, the smoking of a six-foot peace pipe was instated as a gesture of goodwill between the two teams at half-time of their annual basketball match. The peace pipe would be kept by the winning university until the teams played again the following season. The tradition came to an abrupt and unpleasant end in 1969 when the pipe was stolen from the UT offices. It was never recovered and the thief never caught. In 1980, the Peace Pipe trophy was reinstated when a scale-down replica was fashioned and placed on top of a trophy created by former UT football player Frank Kralik. Kralik donated the trophy to the university to be given to the winner of each year’s football game, which like many other college football rivalries is usually the last game of the regular season for both teams. Nowadays, ESPN annually broadcasts the Peace Pipe game, allowing it to reach a wide audience outside of northwest Ohio. Though the two schools play in different divisions in the Mid-American Conference, they have yet to meet in the MAC Championship Game. Toledo leads the series since the reinstatement of the trophy, 15-14.

With the next teams and their rivalry, I hold little interest in. The fact that they are 12 miles apart and both in the same city, I find entertaining, aside from that, more Wiki read. The UCLA–USC rivalry is the college rivalry between two universities located in Los Angeles, California: the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California.The athletic competition rivalry between the two schools is among the more notable in NCAA Division I sports because both schools are located within the same city. The campuses are only 12 miles apart. The sheer proximity of both alumni and students, and the likelihood of encountering each other and interacting on a daily basis make this one of the most intense college rivalries in the United States. USC is one of the top teams in the country in college football, and recognizes 11 of its teams as National Champions. UCLA has only one team recognized as a National Champion.Quite often, the winner of the football game has won or shared the Pacific Ten Conference title in football. A berth in the Rose Bowl game has been on the line many times as well for both schools. Since the formation of the Pacific Coast Conference in 1916, USC has won or shared 37 conference titles and UCLA has won or shared 17 titles.Washington is third in overall conference titles with 15.Since the 1959 season, when the Pacific 10 Conference was formed as the Athletic Association of Western Universities, through the 2007 season, the schools have won or shared 33 of the 48 conference titles. USC has won 17 championships outright, shared eight and gone to the Rose Bowl or BCS bowl 21 times. UCLA has won six championships outright, shared five and gone to the Rose Bowl eight times. The schools have shared the championship between them three times. Both teams have spoiled conference and national championship runs for the other. USC was already an established national football power under Howard Jones and had begun a major rivalry with Notre Dame when UCLA joined the Pacific Coast Conference in 1929. Los Angeles Times Sportswriter Braven Dyer predicted on the day of the first football meeting on September 28, 1929, “In years to come, this game will probably be one of the football spectacles of the West” USC dominated the early games (so much so, that after the first two games, the series was suspended for five years and they did not play each other from 1931-1935) until UCLA established itself. By the late 1930s, star players such as Kenny Washington, Jackie Robinson, and Bob Waterfield enabled UCLA to be competitive. With the hiring of Hall of Fame Coach Henry “Red” Sanders, UCLA became the more dominant program in the 1950s, culminating in their 1954 National Championship. A famous quote was attributed to Sanders regarding the rivalry, “Beating ‘SC is not a matter of life or death, it’s more important than that.” But Sanders died suddenly of a heart attack, and shortly thereafter, John McKay took over a struggling USC program and returned it to national prominence. For most seasons from the mid 1960s to the end of the 1970s, the two schools were the top powers on the west coast. In the 15 Rose Bowls played from 1966 to 1980, USC or UCLA played in 12 of them. Even with the rise of Don James’ Washington Huskies in the 1980s and early 90s, UCLA or USC still went to the Rose Bowl seven times between 1981 and 1995. In the 1990s and until the hiring of Pete Carroll by USC, UCLA was the dominant team, winning 8 straight from USC from 1991-1998, before USC then won 7 in a row from 1999-2005. The 13-9 win in 2006 at the Rose Bowl allowed the Bruins to keep the record for consecutive wins in the rivalry.

Florida vs. Florida State is the next rivalry on the list. Not much going on here aside from state pushed interstate rivalry. here’s the history: The University of Florida has been fielding an officially sanctioned football team since 1906. Though Florida State University (then known as “Florida State College”) played football for several years around 1900, it became a women’s college in 1905 and remained so until 1947, when the football team was re-established. Almost immediately, pressure began building for the Gators to play the new team in-state. Some believe that it took an act of the Florida state legislature to force the contest to take place. This is not exactly true – a bill demanding a UF vs. FSU football series was proposed in 1955 but was voted down. However, the schools bowed to pressure from state leaders and agreed to schedule a yearly series starting in 1958.One of the conditions that the University of Florida put on the agreement was that the contest must always be held in their home stadium, Florida Field in Gainesville. Since 1964, however, the game site has alternated yearly between the Gators’ field and the Seminoles’ home turf of Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee. Since 1958 Florida currently leads the series 32-19-2.

Rice and Houston are the next match up in their competition to take home the Bayou Bucket. The Houston–Rice rivalry (also referred to as the UH–Rice rivalry, Rice–Houston rivalry, or the Rice–UH rivalry) is a cross-town college rivalry between the University of Houston and Rice University. The universities are located approximately five miles from each other in Houston’s “Inner loop” area. It is one of the few NCAA Division I cross-town rivalries, especially between institutions that field Division I Football Bowl Subdivision teams. The rivalry has existed in a more official capacity since Houston joined the now-defunct Southwest Conference in 1971, in which Rice was a charter member. Since the breakup of that conference in 1995, the rivalry has continued. In 2005, Rice joined Conference USA, of which Houston was a member, and has again made the rivalry more relevant for conference titles as well. Football is the largest focus of the rivalry and is the sport in which the competition between the two institutions has run the longest. Both teams are part of the NCAA’s Division I Football Bowl Subdivision and have both been part of the Conference USA athletic conference since 2005. The competition includes an annual regular-season football game between the schools. It has existed since 1971, when Houston joined the now-defunct Southwest Conference, of which Rice was also a member. The winner of the game wins the Bayou Bucket. Houston leads this series 24–9. Although the last Southwest Conference football game was part of the series, the teams did not compete against each other in football from 1996 to 1998 as the universities realigned themselves with other conferences. Although the first official meeting between the teams in football didn’t take place until 1971, a scrimmage took place between the inaugural 1946 Houston Cougars team and the Rice Owls. The Owls, having played football since 1914 and being a part of the Southwest Conference, were a much more experienced and accomplished team than the Cougars. In a front of a crowd of thousands, the Owls easily defeated the Cougars. Made famous from football games between the two rivals, University of Houston students often wear red shirts with the words “Ruck Fice” to UH-Rice games. 5 miles apart from each other.. does that not say, “hey I wanna mess with you and take your recruits fans and basis of how you exist” to you?

Notre Dame and Stanford are next on the list. This rivalry is young and not really considered a major rivalry so there’s not much to it. The Irish have a minor rivalry with the Stanford Cardinal (for the Legends Trophy, a combination of Irish crystal with California redwood). The two teams first met in the 1925 Rose Bowl, then played each other in 1942 and again in 1963-64. The modern series began in 1988 and has been played annually except in 1995-96. Notre Dame leads the series 17-6. When the game is played in Palo Alto, it is usually the last game on Stanford’s schedule (as has been the case since 1999), one week after the Cardinal plays archrival Cal in The Big Game.

I finish up with Arkansas and LSU in the Battle for the Golden Boot, an aged old tradition since 1996. I myself was unaware that this was even a rivalry, but I guess everyone needs a rival. Here’s the background on the two teams playing each other. The Arkansas–LSU rivalry, now known as The Battle for the Golden Boot, is the annual college football sports rivalry game between the teams of the University of Arkansas, the Razorbacks, and Louisiana State University, the Tigers. Although the first game between the two teams occurred in 1901, the rivalry between the teams intensified after Arkansas’ entrance into the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in 1992, and later in 1996 with the first awarding of the “Golden Boot” and the official titling of the game “The Battle for the Golden Boot”. The game is now generally played on the day after Thanksgiving. The two teams have played 53 times since 1901, and as of the 2008 contest, 17 consecutive times after Arkansas’ induction into the SEC. During that time, LSU has won 33 games of the series while Arkansas has won 19, including the latest meeting in 2008, between the two teams. Arkansas and LSU have twice ended the game in a tie, in 1906 and the 1947 Cotton Bowl Classic. Arkansas and LSU began playing each other in 1901, when LSU claimed a 15-0 victory in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Between 1906-1936 (with the exception of 1918) and 1953-1956, the two teams played each other during regular seasons on a yearly basis. In addition, the two teams have played each other at the end of the regular season in the Cotton Bowl Classic twice, on January 1 of 1947 and 1966, the former being the second tie in the series while the latter ended in a 14-7 LSU victory. In 1992, LSU and Arkansas resumed their annual rivalry when Arkansas joined the Southeastern Conference after leaving the Southwest Conference. The teams played each other four times in the conference before the introduction of the Golden Boot trophy in 1996. Beginning in 1996, the victor in the rivalry between Arkansas and LSU received the Golden Boot, a trophy that weighs approximately 175 pounds and is generally considered the heaviest “trophy” awarded in all of college football. The trophy itself stands a little over 4 feet tall, is molded out of 24-karat gold, and resembles the outline of the states of Arkansas and Louisiana connected, thus making a boot shape. Since 1996, the game has been set on the day after Thanksgiving, and has been played on alternating years in Little Rock, Arkansas at War Memorial Stadium, which is the secondary home stadium for the Razorbacks, and in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at Tiger Stadium. The series has generally represented an important battle in the SEC Western Division, with either Arkansas or LSU representing the division in the SEC Football Championship Game in many seasons. LSU won the inaugural “trophy meeting” in 1996, 17–7, and for the next six years, the trophy changed hands every meeting, beginning with LSU in 1997. After Arkansas’ “Miracle on Markham” victory in 2002, LSU won the rivalry and the Golden Boot four consecutive times from 2003 to 2006. The trophy returned to Arkansas’ possession on November 23, 2007 when the Razorbacks beat then top-ranked and eventual BCS National Championship game winner LSU 50-48 in three overtimes in Baton Rouge; the victory was the first for former Razorback coach Houston Nutt in five tries in Tiger Stadium. Arkansas successfully defended the Golden Boot again in 2008 with a spectacular come-from-behind victory in the last minute of game play.

Are You Ready For Some Football

14 11 2009

Once again were not talking about the NFL, were looking again at the Crimson Tide of the University of Alabama. Tonight the Tide takes on the Bulldogs of Mississippi State in Starkville before a sold out crowd. Dan Mullen (the former offensive coordinator for Urban Meyer) took over the head coaching job for the bulldogs this year, bringing the Florida spread offense with him. Alabama player are hoping to use this game to help prepare them for the SEC Championship game since Florida is still running the same type offense (Just sub Anthony Dixon, Miss. St. Powerhouse back, with Tim Tebow). Don’t let this fool you. Alabama is still focusing hard on the Bulldogs. While they may not admit it openly, every player knows that one loss could cost them a shot at the National Championship. Typically against a spread type offense, Alabama head coach Nick Saben has used the nickel and dime packages, rather then the typical 3 – 4 defense he runs, meaning nose tackle Terrance Cody would spend time off field. With this game there are rumors of just leaving the big man Mt. Cody in the game. With the speculation between the coaches, look for Mississippi State to employ some offensive maneuvers slightly different from the playbook and some defensive line ups that have not been seen before from the Crimson Tide.

Miss St vs Alabama

Rolling around to my opinion of it all…. Alabama has had a bad habit of not playing on the national championship level that there team really is. The Tide has a tendency to bring their game down to the level of the team they are playing (see: Alabama vs. South Carolina and Alabama vs. Tennessee). I’m hoping that Alabama bring the running game with them. Mark Ingram is a fantastic back who can get the ball up field to move the chains. Quarterback Greg McElroy proved to be a lot better with the passing game last week but seemed to really be over throwing his target A LOT. If McElroy can settle down and make his assignments and the offensive line give him time to get his passes off, I think we stand to see a good passing game. If Mark Ingram can continue to get at least four yards a carry in combination with McElroy, I see no reason why Alabama could not cover the spread. Alabama has also had some issues in the red zone. (see past 3 games and you might see it) but fortunately we’ve had our field goal kicker Leigh Tiffin who has pretty much been a machine when it comes to getting the ball between the uprights (I got to give it to this kid, he has greatly improved since he first came on the scene choking at every important field goal attempted during the season). As long as Alabama plays their typical hard core defense and stops the run game, and the offense pulls together to move the ball down field and finishes in the red zone, Alabama should have no trouble beating the Bulldogs. The game will be at 7 ET/ 6 CT on ESPN.


7 11 2009

zebraUnless you live under a rock, or just don’t follow college football at all, you’ve heard something about the referees in the South Eastern Conference. If you haven’t, just ask Bobby Petrino, Lane Kiffin, or Urban Meyer, they have all had something to say, and heard from the SEC about speaking out about SEC Officials (FYI incase you didn’t know, its in the rulebook you cant publicly criticize officials). Urban Meyer, the latest of the three was fined $30,000 for his public tongue-lashing of the officials. This past month, there has been a couple of calls that you could say were questionable (what am I saying, even the refs after reviewing the play that night were going WTF?), but in my most humble of opinions mistakes will be made. Such a big deal was made out of these based on the fact that they were basically game changing calls on high profile games (except for Kiffin’s case… he was just made the wrong call and wanted an excuse for it that didn’t blame him). These calls, and the fact that they were on two back to back weeks caused the suspension of one SEC crews. I myself completely disagreed with the calls and was actually heated about it (I feel Florida is over rated and should have lost that game) and at one point felt that the refs in question should be fired, if not forced to resign. After putting some more time and thought into it (and reading a little into the response from the referees who made the call) I realized that asking them to hang up their stripes was a little over the top. Digging much deeper into it, I found that I really blame the SEC and the NCAA for how the referee setup works. First off, there should be no set of crews, there should only be pools of referees. I’m ok if you want to split it into 2 pools (veterans and novices) but there should not be a set crew of people who always work with each other. This gives too much for a crew to be paid off or for a crew to have favorite teams. Secondly, I don’t think there should be conference referees. The rules of college football are the same in California as they are in Alabama, so there’s no reason a referee from Washington should have any problem officiating a football game being played in Georgia. Now that I’ve given the SEC crew a little rope, lets see what they do with it now. With so many teams in the SEC controlling a shot at the national title, there’s no room for error. Its hard enough playing the game alone, much less someone calling a penalty that really isn’t there. I wish good luck to the teams, but even more to the refs. This looks like a lose-lose season to them.

LSU Could Mean No Title Shot

1 11 2009

alvslsuAlabama’s next game is against the LSU Tigers. The tigers are rolling right along behind the tide in the SEC west division looking for a chance to go to the SEC Championship game.  Victory in this game would nearly guarantee LSU another shot at Florida (if LSU wins out) and possibly a chance at the national title (assuming they win out including SEC championship game). With all of this one the line, I believe the tigers are going to come to Tuscaloosa with their chin straps strapped tight ready to hit some pads.  This raises the question of is Alabama going to bring their A game to the field Saturday? With the past 2 games against South Carolina and Tennessee, Alabama has looked like not only did they possibly leave their A game in the locker room, but may have forgot to bring it to campus altogether. The SEC championship game is going to play a key role in who plays for the national title. I like Florida (since they’ve grabbed the east with S.C.’s loss to UT last night) against Alabama for the SEC title (I’m sure the tide will bring it with all that’s on the line.) This match up means that the title game is the decision maker for the BCS title. I would love to see Alabama take Florida to only swap positions on the BCS rankings to play each other again for the national shot, but I know that the Harris and Coaches poll wont allow that (especially with all the wining that Texas isn’t #2). Its going to be a good game down in Bryant-Denny stadium, but my nerves are shot already, someone bring me a bottle before the game starts.

Futbol Americano

25 10 2009

For all you who are non spanish literate and stuff Futbol Americano means American Football ( eh, makes sense now huh, you knew it all along, your brain just didnt want you to think so). In football today im going to talk to you about the one team in football (college that is, haha fooled you if you thought i was talking about that NFL garbage. I  love you brent; Go #4 for whatever team your playin for these days.. whats that.. he retired…but he was just.. nevermind.) That really matters. The Crimson Tide of the University of Alabama.  This past Saturday (yesterday for those of you who still arnt sure what today is from the hangover) my beloved team nearly took a loss to those orange monsters to the north of us, the University of Tennessee. To some of you its like, what.. so your team lost, no biggie, happens to the “best” (see: national champs florida’s imperfect season) but we dont play that way. We are alabama and we do not accept less then perfection (see: alabama hasnt had a national championship since 1992 perfect season). In a show of.. i cant even describe what it was a show of.. a lack of something. Offense wasnt there, defense gave em too much pass game. Special teams actually saved the team this game. With Tiffin’s field goals and Mt. Cody’s 2 field goal blocks, we were barely able to crawl out of the game the victors. This game made me sick to my stomach up until the final momant (it may have been the leftovers i scarfed down during half time but we’ll never know). This brings up the question; With alabama progressively worsening, are they going to be ready in 2 weeks for an aggressive and deadly LSU.