The Battle for the Palladium is the annual college football rivalry matchup between the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders and Troy Trojans. The history between Middle Tennessee and Troy dates back further (1936) than any other two programs in the Sun Belt Conference, but in 1999 the rivalry was renewed after a 46-year hiatus. The lengthy period was a result of the two programs competing in different divisions. That all changed when Troy announced it would make the move from Division I-AA to I-A and join the Sun Belt Conference allowing the two programs to compete annually. With the program's history dating back longer than any other in the conference, the proximity between the schools, and the intense recruitment for the same players, the rivalry quickly re-ignited from 1999 to 2001. The rivalry escalated when both teams unintentionally attended the same movie theater and a few verbal taunts were traded the night before the 2001 contest. In 2003, The Palladium Trophy was introduced in Murfreesboro, Tenn. A year later, Troy officially joined the Sun Belt Conference after completing its final year of transition from Division I-AA to I-A.
Greek Mythology holds that The Palladium is a wooden statue that fell from the Heavens. It was kept at the Temple of Athena in the city of Troy. According to legend, as long as The Palladium was preserved within the walls of the city, Troy would be safe and could not be taken. However, a “Raider” by the name of Odysseus - also known as the Raider of Cities - stole The Palladium during the Trojan War leading to the fall of Troy. In the spirit of the Blue Raiders and Trojans Greek mythology link, Middle Tennessee and Troy compete in The Battle for The Palladium during their annual Sun Belt Conference game. Legend dictates the winner of The Palladium gains an unknown and unexplainable advantage over the other making it more difficult to regain control during future battles. The history between the two schools dates back to 1936 with the Blue Raiders owning an 12-8 advantage in the series. Now competing in the same conference for the first time, the legend may extend well after the football season is over. Many believe losing possession of The Palladium has an enduring effect, mystically influencing other athletic events throughout the year matching the Trojans and Raiders. It’s just another factor to overcome in this rivalry game between Middle Tennessee and Troy. 
In 2003, alumni from Middle Tennessee undertook a grassroots effort to engage fans, alums, and the Student Government Associations from both schools to capitalize on the escalating rivalry with a trophy. The Palladium became the perfect match due to the schools' Greek Mythology ties. Middle Tennessee's mascot (Lightning) is a Pegasus-like winged horse and the city of Troy has forever been linked to Greek Mythology. Marcia Berkall, a wood carving artists who owns Whittlins and Wood, was commissioned to replicate the wooden statue of Athena and The Palladium was born. The Palladium is approximately three feet tall and is made of basswood. Gold leaf was applied to Athena's helmet, shield and to the tip of the spear. 
In 2008, ESPN named The Battle for the Palladium as one of the Top 5 non-BCS in-conference rivalries in college football.
From 1936 to 1953, Middle Tennessee dominated the series winning eight consecutive matchups. In those early years, the games were generally lopsided as Middle Tennessee shutout Troy in five of the eight wins. Troy earned its first win when the series renewed in 1999. Middle Tennessee won two straight from 2001 to 2003. However, Troy has won six straight and seven of the past eight meetings. Middle Tennessee currently leads the all-time series 12-8.
The most memorable game in the rivalry came in 2006. With Middle Tennessee undefeated in conference play on the final day of the regular season and Troy hoping to beat the Blue Raiders to gain a share of the conference championship, the Trojans scored 14 points in the final 2:19 to win 21-20 in what has been called the Miracle in Murfreesboro. Middle Tennessee appeared to have throttled the Trojans high-powered offense for the entire game and led comfortably when Troy took possession with just over two minutes left. However, Troy scored a quick touchdown followed by a successful onside kick. Troy then scored the game clinching touchdown with seconds remaining preventing Middle Tennessee from winning its first outright Sun Belt Championship.  Troy and Middle Tennessee shared the conference championship, but it was Troy who went on to the New Orleans Bowl. Middle Tennessee was selected for the Motor City Bowl.