Little Brown Stein
1903, 115 years ago|
September 27, 2003|
15 years ago
|Next meeting||November 10, 2018 in Moscow|
|All-time series||Idaho leads, 55–27–2 (.667)|
|Largest victory||Idaho, 46–0 (1945)|
|Longest win streak||Idaho, 8, (1951–1959)|
|Current win streak||Montana, 4, (2000–present)|
The Little Brown Stein is a rivalry trophy awarded to the winner of the college football game between the University of Idaho Vandals and University of Montana Grizzlies. The trophy is, as the name implies, a large stein mug with the results of all the games between the two painted on.
Idaho and Montana first played 115 years ago in 1903 and have played 84 times, and the stein was introduced 80 years ago in 1938, at the 25th meeting. Idaho has dominated the overall series (55–27–2 (.667)), which also includes two Division I-AA playoff wins at home in the 1980s. Montana has had the upper hand since 1991, winning eight of the last ten. Since Idaho moved back up to Division I-A in 1996, the teams have met five times, with Montana winning the last four.
The schools were the largest public universities in their respective states for decades, and are about two hundred miles (320 km) apart. Moscow and Missoula are on opposite sides of the lower Idaho Panhandle, separated by the Bitterroot Mountains over Lolo Pass.
Both were members of the old Pacific Coast Conference (the forerunner of today's Pac-12); Montana departed after the 1949 season, and the PCC disbanded in the summer of 1959. In most years, the loser of the game was last in the PCC standings.
The universities were charter members of the Big Sky Conference in 1963, (although Idaho remained an independent in football until 1965) and their final season as conference opponents was in 1995. While Montana has been in the Big Sky since its inception, Idaho has changed its conference affiliation no fewer than five times since 1995:
- Idaho moved to the Big West for all sports in 1996, returning to Division I-A after 18 years in I-AA.
- After the 2000 season, the Big West dropped football. Idaho became a football-only member of the Sun Belt Conference in 2001 while remaining a full Big West member.
- Idaho joined the WAC for all sports in 2005 as part of a major NCAA conference realignment.
- After the WAC experienced a near-complete membership turnover in the early 2010s, it dropped football after the 2012 season. Idaho football was an FBS independent for one season in 2013.
- Idaho returned to the Big Sky in 2014 except for football, which rejoined the Sun Belt.
- Idaho will drop back to FCS in 2018 and resume football membership in the Big Sky.
|Idaho victories||Montana victories|
- Years not played: 1904–13, 1918, 1943–44, 1954, 1963–64, 1996–98, 2004–17
|Y C McNease||Idaho||2||1968–69||1||1||0||.667|
|Dennis Erickson (a)||Idaho||5||1982–85||4||1||.800|
|John L. Smith||Idaho||6||1989–94||2||4||.333|
|Dennis Erickson (b)||Idaho||0||2006|
- Last tie was in 1974 and the Big Sky enacted overtime for conference games in 1980; all Division I games went to overtime in 1996.
- Two games in 1982 and 1988; regular season at Montana and playoff (I-AA) at Idaho: home teams won all four games
- No games in 1954, 1963, 1964, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2004–2017
- "Vandals still seeking a win". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). October 20, 1948. p. 18.
- Payne, Bob (October 18, 1974). "Tips riding two-game win streak". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. 29.
- "Football". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1943. p. 233.
- Meehan, Jim (September 28, 2003). "Idaho collapses in Montana". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. C13.
- Bauer, Doug (September 28, 2003). "Griz catch Vandals with pants down". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). p. 1B.
- Welsch, Jeff (April 30, 2016). "Idaho's twice-bruised ego offers cautionary tale for Griz, Cats". Billings Gazette. (Montana). Retrieved October 4, 2016.
- "Idaho opponents: vs. Montana". CFB Data Warehouse. Retrieved October 4, 2009.
- "Idaho, Montana renew old football rivalry at Boise". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. November 18, 1961. p. 2.
- "Vandals repel late Montana bid for 16-14 upset victory". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. November 19, 1961. p. 8.
- "Montana eleven wallops Vandals". Bend Bulletin. (Oregon). United Press. November 8, 1947. p. 2.
- Missildine, Harry (February 26, 1963). "Six western schools create Big Sky athletic conference". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. 12.
- "Big Sky is ready for league action". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). February 26, 1963. p. 13.
- "Idaho football to Big Sky Conference". Big Sky Conference. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- Kasper, John (September 25, 2013). "No. 48 Big Sky Innovation". Big Sky Conference. Retrieved June 9, 2016.