Wagon Wheel (trophy)

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Wagon Wheel
University of Akron script logo.gif Kent State K logo.png
Akron Zips Kent State Golden Flashes

Sport(s) Football
Total meetings 55
Series record Akron leads, 31–23–2
Trophy series record Kent State leads, 22–20–1
First meeting 1923
Akron 32, Kent State 0
First trophy meeting November 16, 1946
Kent State 13, Akron 6
Last meeting November 2, 2013
Akron 16, Kent State 7
Next meeting TBA
Largest win Kent State, 47–0 (1949)
Longest win streak Kent State, 10 (1942–1954)
Longest unbeaten streak Akron, 12 (1923–1941); Kent State, 12 (1942–1974)
Current win streak Akron, 1 (2013)
Trophy Wagon Wheel
Wagon Wheel (trophy) is located in Ohio
Akron
Akron
Kent State
Kent State
Magnify-clip.png
Locations in Ohio

The Blue and Gold Wagon Wheel, now known simply as the Wagon Wheel, is awarded to the winner of the annual college football game between the University of Akron and Kent State University. The trophy is, as the name implies, the wheel from a horse-drawn wagon that is painted blue and gold, the school colors for both universities. It was first contested in 1946 when the rivalry resumed after World War II.

Although the two schools are in neighboring Northeast Ohio counties and are only approximately 10 miles (16 km) apart, they played each other in football periodically since the first meeting in 1923. The rivalry was contested annually over several periods of time, but none lasted longer than nine consecutive years prior to the current run. Akron joined the Mid-American Conference in 1992, and since then, the rivalry has been played every year. Through the 2013 game, Kent State leads the Wagon Wheel series 22–20–1 while Akron leads the overall series 31–23–2.

History[edit]

The University of Akron and Kent State University, located approximately 10 miles (16 km) apart, first played football against each other in 1923, a 32–0 win for Akron. The two schools did not meet again until 1928 and played annually from 1928 through the 1936 game. From 1932–1935, both teams were members of the Ohio Athletic Conference, which Akron had joined in 1915 and Kent had joined in 1932. During that time period, all of the games were Akron wins except a scoreless tie in 1932. After Akron left the OAC in 1936, the series was interrupted again after the 1936 meeting and resumed in 1940 with Akron wins in 1940 and 1941 before Kent State recorded their first win in the series with a 23–6 win in 1942. World War II halted the series again as neither school fielded a team for the 1943, 1944, and 1945 seasons.[1][2]

Akron rejoined the OAC in 1944 and the Wagon Wheel trophy was introduced when the series resumed in 1946. It was the idea of Raymond Manchester, the dean of men at Kent State. Manchester donated the wheel, claiming it had been discovered in Kent in 1902 during construction of a pipeline or building near the eventual site of Kent State University. He connected the wheel to both schools by creating a legend that the wheel had been part of the carriage of Akron industrialist John R. Buchtel, the main benefactor and original namesake of what is now The University of Akron (known as Buchtel College from 1872–1913). Manchester's story was that Buchtel had been near the future site of Kent State in 1870 while scouting for a site to locate a new college. Buchtel's carriage became stuck in the mud and his horses pulled it apart, with one of the wheels becoming embedded in the mud. That incident, Manchester claimed, caused Buchtel to ultimately choose Akron as the site of the new college, which opened in 1872 and eventually became The University of Akron.[3]

While Akron went 10–0–1 in the rivalry's beginning, Kent State proceeded to win the next 10 games, including the first 9 of the Wagon Wheel series. Several of the wins were by large margins, including a 47–0 win in 1949 that stands as the largest margin of victory for either team. After Kent State's 58–18 win in 1954, the series was discontinued as being noncompetitive.[1][2]

In the 1970s, the rivalry was revived, but the teams only met occasionally as they played in different conferences and different NCAA levels. The first meeting was in 1972, which resulted in a 13–13 tie, and they met again two years later in 1974. Kent State's 51–14 win in the 1974 game capped a stretch where the Golden Flashes went 11–0–1 against the Zips and tied the overall series. Akron finally recorded their first Wagon Wheel win five years later with a 15–13 win at the Rubber Bowl and the Zips' first win over KSU since 1941. The two teams next played in 1981 and again from 1983–1990. 1991 was the last interruption in the rivalry before Akron began MAC competition the following year. Since 1992, the game has been played every year.[1][2]

Beginning with the 1997 meeting, the Zips won six in a row and 11 of 13. Kent State's only wins in that span came in 2003 with a 41–38 victory at the Rubber Bowl led by Joshua Cribbs, and a 37–15 win at Dix Stadium in 2006. The 2009 game in Akron, the teams' first meeting at InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field, resulted in a 28–20 Akron win, which tied the Wagon Wheel series at 19 wins each. Since then, Kent State has won three in a row through the 2012 game.[1][2]

Conference affiliations[edit]

Since 1992, both Kent State and Akron have been members of the Mid-American Conference, and when the MAC divided into divisions in 1997, both schools were placed in the East Division. From 1932–1935 and 1944–1950, both schools were members of the Ohio Athletic Conference. Akron joined the OAC in 1915 but left in 1936 only to rejoin in 1944. Kent State joined the OAC in 1932 and remained a member until joining the MAC in 1951.[1][2]

In 1956, the NCAA divided its membership into two divisions: the University Division for larger schools and the College Division for smaller schools. Kent State, with other MAC schools, played in the University Division, which became Division I in 1974 and Division I-A in 1978. Akron and the OAC played in the College Division, which eventually became Divisions II and III. After leaving the OAC in 1966, the Zips played as an independent. When the NCAA changed the divisions again to create three, the Zips played one season, 1973, in Division III before moving to Division II in 1974, where they continued to compete as an independent until joining the Mid-Continent Conference for the 1978 and 1979 seasons. The following year, 1980, Akron moved to Division I-AA, and began play in the Ohio Valley Conference. In 1987, the Zips left the OVC in football and transitioned to Division I-A, becoming the first team to do so since Division I had been divided. From 1987 through the 1991 season, the Zips were again independent in football until they joined the MAC for the 1992 season.[1][2]

Game results[edit]

Akron victories are shaded ██ blue. Kent State victories shaded ██ gold. Ties shaded ██ silver.

Date Site Winning team Losing team Wagon Wheel series Overall series
1923 Akron Akron 32 Kent State 0 UA 1–0
1928 Akron Akron 8 Kent State 6 UA 2–0
October 5, 1929 Akron Akron 25 Kent State 0 UA 3–0
October 11, 1930 Akron Akron 12 Kent State 6 UA 4–0
October 10, 1931 Akron Akron 12 Kent State 6 UA 5–0
October 22, 1932 Akron Tie, 0–0 UA 5–0–1
October 7, 1933 Kent Akron 19 Kent State 6 UA 6–0–1
October 5, 1934 Akron Akron 26 Kent State 0 UA 7–0–1
October 11, 1935 Akron Akron 3 Kent State 0 UA 8–0–1
October 9, 1936 Akron Akron 6 Kent State 0 UA 9–0–1
November 9, 1940 Akron Akron 23 Kent State 7 UA 10–0–1
November 15, 1941 Akron Akron 41 Kent State 13 UA 11–0–1
November 14, 1942 Akron Kent State 23 Akron 6 UA 11–1–1
Wagon Wheel games
November 16, 1946 Akron Kent State 13 Akron 6 KSU 1–0 UA 11–2–1
November 14, 1947 Kent Kent State 6 Akron 0 KSU 2–0 UA 11–3–1
November 12, 1948 Akron Kent State 31 Akron 0 KSU 3–0 UA 11–4–1
November 12, 1949 Kent Kent State 47 Akron 0 KSU 4–0 UA 11–5–1
November 11, 1950 Akron Kent State 19 Akron 7 KSU 5–0 UA 11–6–1
November 10, 1951 Kent Kent State 48 Akron 7 KSU 6–0 UA 11–7–1
November 7, 1952 Akron Kent State 34 Akron 14 KSU 7–0 UA 11–8–1
November 7, 1953 Kent Kent State 54 Akron 19 KSU 8–0 UA 11–9–1
November 6, 1954 Akron Kent State 58 Akron 18 KSU 9–0 UA 11–10–1
1955–1971 No games played between Akron and Kent State
September 13, 1972 Akron Tie, 13–13 KSU 9–0–1 UA 11–10–2
October 26, 1974 Kent Kent State 51 Akron 14 KSU 10–0–1 Tie 11–11–2
September 15, 1979 Akron Akron 15 Kent State 13 KSU 10–1–1 UA 12–11–2
September 19, 1981 Kent Kent State 17 Akron 6 KSU 11–1–1 Tie 12–12–2
September 3, 1983 Akron Akron 13 Kent State 6 KSU 11–2–1 UA 13–12–2
September 1, 1984 Kent Kent State 24 Akron 17 KSU 12–2–1 Tie 13–13–2
September 14, 1985 Akron Akron 24 Kent State 0 KSU 12–3–1 UA 14–13–2
September 13, 1986 Kent Akron 17 Kent State 7 KSU 12–4–1 UA 15–13–2
September 12, 1987 Akron Kent State 27 Akron 23 KSU 13–4–1 UA 15–14–2
September 10, 1988 Kent Kent State 32 Akron 12 KSU 14–4–1 Tie 15–15–2
September 9, 1989 Akron Akron 40 Kent State 7 KSU 14–5–1 UA 16–15–2
September 8, 1990 Kent Akron 38 Kent State 10 KSU 14–6–1 UA 17–15–2
October 10, 1992 Kent Kent State 20 Akron 16 KSU 15–6–1 UA 17–16–2
September 11, 1993 Akron Akron 42 Kent State 7 KSU 15–7–1 UA 18–16–2
September 17, 1994 Kent Kent State 32 Akron 16 KSU 16–7–1 UA 18–17–2
October 28, 1995 Akron Akron 14 Kent State 6 KSU 16–8–1 UA 19–17–2
October 5, 1996 Kent Kent State 32 Akron 17 KSU 17–8–1 UA 19–18–2
November 8, 1997 Akron Akron 45 Kent State 35 KSU 17–9–1 UA 20–18–2
October 10, 1998 Kent Akron 45 Kent State 16 KSU 17–10–1 UA 21–18–2
November 13, 1999 Akron Akron 37 Kent State 34 KSU 17–11–1 UA 22–18–2
November 18, 2000 Kent Akron 34 Kent State 6 KSU 17–12–1 UA 23–18–2
September 29, 2001 Akron Akron 14 Kent State 10 KSU 17–13–1 UA 24–18–2
November 23, 2002 Kent Akron 48 Kent State 10 KSU 17–14–1 UA 25–18–2
August 28, 2003 Akron Kent State 41 Akron 38 KSU 18–14–1 UA 25–19–2
September 23, 2004 Kent Akron 24 Kent State 19 KSU 18–15–1 UA 26–19–2
November 24, 2005 Akron Akron 35 Kent State 3 KSU 18–16–1 UA 27–19–2
September 30, 2006 Kent Kent State 37 Akron 15 KSU 19–16–1 UA 27–20–2
September 22, 2007 Akron Akron 27 Kent State 20 KSU 19–17–1 UA 28–20–2
October 4, 2008 Kent Akron* 30 Kent State 27 KSU 19–18–1 UA 29–20–2
November 7, 2009 Akron Akron 28 Kent State 20 Tie 19–19–1 UA 30–20–2
October 9, 2010 Kent Kent State 28 Akron 17 KSU 20–19–1 UA 30–21–2
November 12, 2011 Akron Kent State 35 Akron 3 KSU 21–19–1 UA 30–22–2
November 3, 2012 Kent Kent State 35 Akron 24 KSU 22–19–1 UA 30–23–2
November 2, 2013 Akron Akron 16 Kent State 7 KSU 22–20–1 UA 31–23–2

* Overtime game

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Year-by-Year Results" (PDF). 2013 Akron Football Media Guide (University of Akron). 2013. Retrieved October 13, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Record Book" (PDF). 2011 Kent State Football Media Guide (Kent State University). 2011. Retrieved October 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ Gilgenbach, Cara; Walton, Theresa (2008). Kent State University Athletics. Arcadia Publishing. p. 98.