Clu is back with another installment of the RTS.
We’re deep into the college football season everyone! Many major schools are vying for sports in their respected conference standings and rivalry games are becoming more and more important, as we get ready for bowl season. Also, of course the BCS is officially screwing teams for one last season. Anywho, I wanted to take a look one last time at some FCS teams who have very unique rivalries. For my last FCS edition of the Rivalry trophy series, I am going to do a double header that starts with the famous Harvard/Yale game and then my big send off game out in Montana for the Montana/Montana State “Brawl of the Wild” rivalry game. Lets check them out shall we?!
Yale University Bulldogs (2-7, 1-5) @ Harvard University Crimson (7-2, 4-2)
When: Saturday, 11/17 at 12 PM
Overall Series Record: Yale leads 65-55-8
Last Year’s Results: Harvard defeated Yale 45-7
Time for a history lesson here everyone. In what is certainly one of the oldest games played in the history of college football, there has never been any love lost between these two schools. Their first meeting took place in 1875, when Harvard won 4-0 (a touchdown and extra point only scored you 1 point back then) Back then, the game of football was in a more primitive state, and it was much more like rugby than the game of American football that we know today. Early on the games usually ended in bloodbaths and you would often see numerous players from each side being carried off the field in near dying conditions. Google “Hampden Park Bloodbath” if you want to find out more of what I am referring to.
Harvard and Yale are located only a few hours drive from one another (Harvard U being in Cambridge, MA and Yaleof course is located in New Haven, CT), but perhaps the biggest reason that this becomes one of the most interesting rivalries in football is that they are among the nation’s most prestigious and oldest universities, and therefore the rivalry becomes that much more heated. Beating the other team is considered more important than having a winning record. It’s the same for many other colleges too. Because the Ivy League doesn’t participate in any sort of post-season bowl games, the Harvard/Yale game has signified the end of the season for both schools since 1900.
As a funny side story, student pranks are often seen before the game; panics like when Harvard students “dognapped” Handsome Dan II (aka the Yale University Bulldog), or when Yale students handed out place cards to some 1800 Harvard alumni attending a game. When the signs were all raised, it spelled out “We Suck” (although Harvard won that game 35-3). However! on some occasions, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) students likes to get in on the action too. In one some more humorous moments, during the third quarter of a game between Harvard and Yale, it was said that as a kicker was getting ready to kick a field goal, a student from MIT shot off a rocket over the posts, hanging an MIT banner and causing a little bit of confusion. Obviously, it took the crew some time to get the banner down. The next day, a headline in the Boston Herald read, “MIT 1 — Harvard-Yale 0; Tech Pranksters Steal the Show,” though Yale actually won the actual game 34-19.
Usually I finish by talking about both programs and who would win this annual matchup, give you some insight about each school, etc. But this time however, I’m throwing that all out the window. The records are meaningless, especially since the Ivy league doesn’t allow their conference winners to play in any post season bowl games, even though some of these schools (like Harvard) certainly deserve the right to play. So why bother? No sense in wasting time talking about the Xs and Os of this game. Harvard should manage to win this one hands down, as they clearly have the better program.
The “We Suck” Prank… Golden:
The Brawl of the Wild: #2 (in FCS) Montana State Bobcats (9-1, 6-1) @ Montana Grizzlies (5-5, 3-4)
When: 11/17 @ 3:30 PM
Overall Record: Montana leads 70-36-5
Last Year’s Results: Montana defeated Montana State 36-10
With my last post regarding FCS schools for the year, I am going all the way back to Big Sky country. You might have remembered my last post, when I debuted the whole FCS thing with a post regarding #5 Eastern Washington and the Montana Griz (if you don’t recall it, here’s the link to it). I was left feeling a bit empty, since that rivalry game, however intense, didn’t have a trophy to go along with the premise of this series… I mean it is the rivalry TROPHY series after all. However, the Montana/Montana State does! It’s known as the Great Divide trophy. It should also be known that the Montana v. Montana State game is considered the fourth oldest active rivalry in the FCS (oldest west of the Mississippi).
Thanks to the help of many people who donated to make this trophy possible, The Great Divide Trophy was created by Dave Samuelson in 2001. The winner of the Montana/Montana State game holds the trophy for one year. As an added stipulation, in the year 2099 the school with the most wins in the 21st century will hold the trophy forever, so we know that Montana and Montana State will be playing for the next 77 years for the rights to the Great Divide trophy. Montana won the first matchup in 2001. Since then, the trophy has chanced hands 6 times currently, it is held by the University of Montana. Both schools are charter members of the Big Sky conference, and while they share the same state, the schools hateeeee one another, with an emphasis on all those e’s.
For the better part of this rivalry, Montana has owned Montana State (since about 1986). Around that same time, began a period in Montana Grizzlies football known as “The Streak”, where the Griz won sixteen straight games over Montana State in the series. While there were a few close games, you saw a big indication that both Montana and Montana State football were going in different directions (Montana would go on to win 2 D-IAA titles, where as Montana State would barely have winning seasons or struggle to even win a game). To ease much of the pain and punishment of being a Montana State fan, the streak was finally snapped in 2002 and you can bet your ass Montana State fans rejoiced and partied the night away. Since then, each school has gone back and fourth with Montana still claiming a lead in the trophy series, but not by as big a margin (winning 6 of 10 meetings). Because of this parity, it has become a much more meaningful rivalry, that’s for sure.
Who Will Win It This Year?
Boy the tables have turned for the Bobcats this year, haven’t they? They rank #2 in the nation (In FCS of course) and look to contend for a national championship for the first time since 1984! The Bobcats currently rank second in the Big Sky behind Eastern Washington (of course). Their offensive attack is led by QB Denarius McGhee and RB Cody Kirk, who have accounted for almost 40 touchdowns between the two of them. But also more importantly, the Bobcats are looking to win, or at least share, their third conference title in a row. So trust me, you should be hearing about them a lot for the remainder of the year.
The Griz, on the other hand, have not had the season that so many people thought they would have had. They’re clearly not the powerhouse they usually are in the Big Sky, I mean, c’mon. They have a running back named Canada. I’m sure when Montana loses, he gets the whole “Blame Canada” thing a lot. Anywho, the Grizzlies do roll into Saturday’s game winners of their last two, so they do have some momentum as they look to play spoiler. However, I think that the Bobcats will be too much for them, as they will be hoisting the Great Divide trophy for the second time in three years.
Montana State: QB Denarius McGhee (230 of 333, 2479 passing yards, 223 rushing yards, 25 total TDs). RB Cody Kirk (13 rushing TDs), RB Orenzo Davis (549 rushing yards, 7 TDs)
Montana: RB Trent McKinny (399 rushing yards, 7 TDs, RB Peter Nguyen (814 rushing yards, 4 TDs), RB Jordan Canada (550 yards, 4 TDs)
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