Nickel Trophy

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Nickel Trophy
Sport Football
First meeting November 3, 1894
North Dakota State 20, North Dakota 4
Latest meeting September 19, 2015
North Dakota State 34, North Dakota 9
Next meeting 2019
Trophy Yes (Nickel Trophy)
Statistics
Meetings total 111
All-time series North Dakota leads 62-46-3
Current win streak North Dakota State, 1 (2015–present)
Nickel Trophy is located in North Dakota
North Dakota
North Dakota
North Dakota State
North Dakota State
Locations in North Dakota

The Nickel Trophy was presented to the winner of the formerly annual football game between the rival University of North Dakota (UND) Fighting Hawks and the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Bison. The two universities are approximately 76 miles apart on the eastern border of North Dakota. The two schools suspended play in 2003 and resumed play in 2015.

The Trophy[edit]

Robert Kunkel, a UND alumnus and Chicago advertising executive, was the originator of the trophy, and Blue Key, an honorary service fraternity at NDSU, and the UND Blue Key (Student Government after their Blue Key Chapter dissolved) administered the annual awarding. It is an oversized 75-pound replica[1] of the James Earle Fraser-designed U.S. buffalo nickel with a buffalo on one side representing NDSU Bison and a Native American head on the other side representing UND, who were known as the Fighting Sioux until 2012. Fraser, best known for his sculpture, "The End of The Trail", was born in Winona, MN and lived for a time in Dakota Territory. The coin-shaped trophy's "mint" date is 1937, the year the trophy was created. Jack Sather, a native of New England, ND, was commissioned to design and act a sculpture of the award. It took six weeks to complete the job and he was paid $65 for his work. Those funds were raised by both NDSU and UND Blue Key chapters from members and friends. The Nickel, at 250 times larger than a regular five-cent piece, weighs 75 pounds and is 2 inches thick and 22 inches in diameter. Both sides were 3/4" relief and, from the original models, plaster casts were poured. The casts were hauled to a St. Paul, MN foundry where plaster copies were recast in an aluminum alloy. The halves were welded together to make the finished piece. It was first awarded in 1938 when NDSU won 17–13. It has been the object of many theft and "kidnapping" attempts by students from both universities. Governor William Langer was asked to participate in the unveiling of the new award in Grand Forks. Moments after the unveiling an unidentified student stepped up to Governor Langer, told him "I'll take care of this for you", and disappeared with the nickel trophy. It turned up 36 hours later on the front lawn of then UND President John C. West (The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, October 21, 1967) and a new tradition of "kidnapping" or "borrowing" the trophy had begun.

The Rivalry[edit]

Nickel Trophy
Nickel trophy NDSU.JPG
The Nickel Trophy – NDSU side
Awarded for Winning the regular season NDSU/UND football game
Sponsored by NDSU Blue Key & UND Student Government
Date 1938-2003
Location Fargo, ND or Grand Forks, ND
Country United States
Currently held by UND

Prior to 2004, the game was one of the longest-running college football contests, with 110 meetings spanning several decades with the first official game in 1894. The Fighting Hawks lead the all-time series 62–46, with 3 ties. In games where the Nickel Trophy has been contested (since 1938), the Hawks lead the series 35–30 and won the last three games in the series. The last NDSU win in a game in which the trophy was at stake was in 2000, 16–13. The two playoff games between the teams (1994 and 1995) are not considered part of the Nickel series, and it has been agreed on by both schools that only the regular season scheduled game would determine the Nickel's rightful owner according to former Blue Key member and chapter adviser Tim Flakoll. The Nickel Trophy was not at stake in 2015 (a game won 34–9 by the Bison) due to the now-abandoned Sioux logo remaining on one side.[2]

Both teams have had long winning streaks in the series. The most recent streaks of significant length were in 1981–1992, where the Bison won 12 straight games in the series, including two shutout wins (1985 and 1989)- and in 1993–1996, where the then-Fighting Sioux snapped the losing streak by winning four straight regular season games. (As mentioned, the two teams did play playoff games in 1994 and 1995 respectively—the Sioux winning in 1994 and the Bison in 1995). Of more historical note, the Sioux won 12 straight also from 1953–1964 before the Bison stopped the streak with a 6–3 win in 1965.[3]

Future[edit]

Since 1921, NDSU and UND competed as charter members in the NCAA Division II North Central Conference. In 2002, NDSU announced their intention to move their football program to the Division I-AA level (and athletic program as a whole to Division I). An agreement for the schools to continue competing on the field could not be reached between the two universities and was the subject of much controversy following NDSU's reclassification. Thus, the Sioux have held the trophy since October 18, 2003, when they defeated NDSU in the last Nickel Trophy game by a 28–21 score in Grand Forks.

In mid-2006, UND announced their intention to move their athletic programs to Division I as well and the 2008 season was their first in Division I. Today, NDSU is an all-sports member of The Summit League, a non-football conference, and a member of the football-only Missouri Valley Football Conference, while UND is a full member of the football-sponsoring Big Sky Conference.

Scheduling logistics with their respective conferences and the yearly frequency of the potential resumption of the series are the stated reasons for not resuming. Several high-profile alumni and sports figures have called for a resumption of the series, and there is a grassroots movement for the legislature to require an annual game by law.[4][5][6][7]

On May 16, 2012, UND athletic director Brian Faison announced that UND and NDSU are planning a contract for two more games between each other, first in 2015 in Fargo (NDSU) and then 2017 in Grand Forks (UND).[8] On August 22, 2014, UND athletics announced the signing of a contract for two games against NDSU to be played in Fargo on September 19, 2015 and September 7, 2019.[9]

Game results[edit]

North Dakota victories North Dakota State victories
# Date Location Winner Score
1 1894 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 20–4
2 1894 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 24–4
3 1895 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 42–0
4 1895 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 12–4
5 1896 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 58–12
6 1897 Fargo, ND North Dakota 39–0
7 1897 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 20–0
8 1898 Fargo, ND North Dakota 39–6
9 1899 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 46–0
10 1900 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 16–0
11 1901 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 17–11
12 1902 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 47–0
13 1904 Fargo, ND North Dakota 22–0
14 1904 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 17–0
15 1905 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 23–5
16 1905 Fargo, ND Tie 11–11
17 1906 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 32–4
18 1910 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 18–0
19 1912 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 3–0
20 1913 Fargo, ND North Dakota 20–14
21 1914 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 7–6
22 1915 Fargo, ND North Dakota 20–0
23 1916 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 10–0
24 1917 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 20–6
25 1919 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 7–6
26 1920 Fargo, ND North Dakota 14–7
27 1921 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 38–3
28 1922 Fargo, ND North Dakota 7–0
29 1923 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 10–3
30 1924 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 20–7
31 1925 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 19–10
32 1926 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 7–6
33 1927 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 13–0
34 1928 Fargo, ND North Dakota 18–0
35 1929 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 14–0
36 1930 Fargo, ND North Dakota 14–7
37 1931 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 20–12
38 1932 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 7–6
39 1933 Grand Forks, ND Tie 7–7
40 1934 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 7–0
41 1935 Grand Forks, ND Tie 20–20
42 1936 Fargo, ND North Dakota 14–0
43 1937 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 27–0
44 1938 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 17–13
45 1939 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 18–0
46 1940 Fargo, ND North Dakota 24–0
47 1941 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 20–6
48 1942 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 26–14
49 1945 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 20–12
50 1945 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 26–7
51 1946 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 31–0
52 1947 Fargo, ND North Dakota 25–20
53 1948 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 19–7
54 1949 Fargo, ND North Dakota 13–6
55 1950 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 33–0
56 1951 Fargo, ND North Dakota 33–14
# Date Location Winner Score
57 1952 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 14–13
58 1953 Fargo, ND North Dakota 26–6
59 1954 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 40–7
60 1955 Fargo, ND North Dakota 21–0
61 1956 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 14–7
62 1957 Fargo, ND North Dakota 9–0
63 1958 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 36–0
64 1959 Fargo, ND North Dakota 20–15
65 1960 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 16–7
66 1961 Fargo, ND North Dakota 26–6
67 1962 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 30–7
68 1963 Fargo, ND North Dakota 21–7
69 1964 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 20–13
70 1965 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 6–3
71 1966 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 18–15
72 1967 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 34–10
73 1968 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 14–8
74 1969 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 64–14
75 1970 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 20–3
76 1971 Fargo, ND North Dakota 23–7
77 1972 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 22–17
78 1973 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 21–14
79 1974 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 31–20
80 1975 Fargo, ND North Dakota 34–17
81 1976 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 22–15
82 1977 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 45–20
83 1978 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 24–21
84 1979 Fargo, ND North Dakota 14–7
85 1980 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 38–20
86 1981 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 31–7
87 1982 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 10–3
88 1983 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 23–6
89 1984 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 14–3
90 1985 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 49–0
91 1986 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 62–13
92 1987 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 42–10
93 1988 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 34–27
94 1989 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 21–0
95 1990 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 42–14
96 1991 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 35–28
97 1992 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 20–19
98 1993 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 22–21
99 1994 Fargo, ND North Dakota 34–13
100 1994 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 17–7
101 1995 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 21–7
102 1995 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 41–10
103 1996 Fargo, ND North Dakota 33–19
104 1997 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota State 31–10
105 1998 Fargo, ND North Dakota 39–25
106 1999 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 13–10
107 2000 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 16–13
108 2001 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 19–7
109 2002 Fargo, ND North Dakota 12–6
110 2003 Grand Forks, ND North Dakota 28–21
111 2015 Fargo, ND North Dakota State 34–9
Series: North Dakota leads 62–46–3

See also[edit]

References[edit]