Bowling Green–Toledo football rivalry
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The Bowling Green–Toledo football rivalry is annual college football rivalry game between Mid-American Conference members Bowling Green State University (BGSU) and the University of Toledo (UT). The universities are separated by about 25 miles (40 km) along Interstate 75 (I-75). The Bowling Green Falcons and Toledo Rockets have exchanged two traveling trophies; the Peace Pipe Trophy (1980–2010), and the Battle of I-75 Trophy (2011–present).Although the series is tied between the two teams, Toledo currently is the dominant team.
The game is sometimes referred to as The Black Swamp Showdown and the Battle of I-75, as the cities of Toledo and Bowling Green are both located on I-75, just 20 miles (32 km) apart, and in the Black Swamp area of Northwest Ohio.
The rivalry between UT and BGSU goes back to 1919. The games were (and to an extent still are) marked by a passionate fan following and a hatred for the respective opponent. In 1935, fans rioted following a 63–0 blowout win by UT and as a result BGSU and UT did not resume the rivalry until 1948 (although Toledo did not field a football team during World War II from 1943–1945).
Peace Pipe Trophy
In 1948, the smoking of a six-foot "peace pipe" was instated as a gesture of goodwill between the two football teams at half-time of the annual game. The pipe would be kept by the winning university until the teams played again the following season. The tradition came to an abrupt end in 1969 when the pipe was stolen from the UT offices. It was never recovered and the thief never caught.
In 1980, a scale-down replica was fashioned and placed on top of a trophy created by former UT football player Frank Kralik. The Peace Pipe Trophy is a miniature replica of an American Indian sacred ceremonial pipe, sitting atop a trophy with both football teams' logos. Kralik donated the trophy to the university to be given to the winner of each year's football game, which like many other college football rivalries is usually the last game of the regular season for both teams. Though the two schools play in different divisions in the Mid-American Conference, they have yet to meet in the MAC Championship Game.
The awarding of the Peace Pipe Trophy was discontinued after the 2010 game. The schools agreed to change the trophy after conversations with members of the American Indian community. Taken into consideration was the spiritual symbolism of the ceremonial pipe to the American Indian community, as well as the NCAA's push to remove inappropriate American Indian nicknames and symbols associated with member's athletic teams. The Peace Pipe Trophy will be permanently housed in the Toledo football trophy case as the Rockets won the last battle for the Peace Pipe in 2010.
Battle of I-75 Trophy
Beginning in 2011, the two schools started playing for the Battle of I-75 Trophy. Sponsored by Taylor Kia Automotive Group, it replaced the Peace Pipe Trophy. The Battle of I-75 Trophy was designed by Jeff Artz, who also designed the Fred Biletnikoff Award (awarded to America's top college football wide receiver).
Toledo routed Bowling Greenthe most recent meeting, 66–37,and currently holds a 7-0 advantage in the Battle of I-75 Trophy series. Toledo leads the trophy rivalry 23–15 overall. In the all-time series, The series is tied.
Recent Toledo domination
Toledo has won eight straight games. The most recent of which was, "snoozer as they blew out the Falcons 66-37 before a crowd that barely dented the Doyt’s capacity.Coaches on both teams agreed, "the fiercest and most-heated rivalry in the Mid-American Conference has lost some luster, and that's probably because of the lopsidedness". It was in 2009 that the Falcons last won the Battle of I-75.
|Bowling Green victories||Toledo victories||Tie games|
- "Toledo and Bowling Green Announce New "Battle of I-75 Trophy" for Football Series". utrockets.com. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Battle of I-75 winner to earn new trophy". Toledo Blade. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2012.