Victory Bell (Cincinnati–Miami)
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|First meeting||December 8, 1888|
Cincinnati 0, Miami 0
|Latest meeting||September 14, 2019|
Cincinnati 35, Miami 13
|Next meeting||September 19, 2020|
|All-time series||Miami leads, 59–58–7|
|Largest victory||Cincinnati, 46–0 (1904)|
|Longest win streak||Cincinnati, 14 (2006–present)|
|Current win streak||Cincinnati, 14 (2006–present)|
|Locations of Cincinnati and Miami|
The Miami–Cincinnati Victory Bell is the trophy awarded to the winner of the American college football rivalry game played by the Cincinnati Bearcats football team of the University of Cincinnati and the Miami RedHawks football team of Miami University. The Victory Bell is the oldest current non-conference college football rivalry in the United States (though the teams were briefly conference rivals in the late 1940s and early 1950s). Though less known in the college football world, the Victory Bell is a longer lived rivalry than famed games such as Michigan-Ohio State.
As part of the agreement for the Symmes Purchase, John Cleves Symmes was instructed by the federal government to reserve a township for the creation of a university. Initially, land had been set aside in Cincinnati, but after a revision of the purchase, Symmes erroneously believed the requirement for a university was no longer necessary so the original plot was sold to settlers. Finally, on March 3, 1803, two days after Ohio attained statehood, Congress granted one complete township to be located in the District of Cincinnati under direction of the Ohio Legislature; if no township within the Symmes Purchase were offered in five years, then a township from federal lands was granted the State of Ohio to be held in trust for the establishment of a college. No township was offered, since no unentered township remained between the two Miami rivers. Miami University was finally founded in 1809, although construction was halted for many years. Interested in higher education did not decline in Cincinnati, with the foundation of the Cincinnati College in 1819, which would later become part of the University of Cincinnati. Delays during the War of 1812 even saw residents of Cincinnati try—and fail—to move Miami to the city in 1822 and to divert its income to the foundation of another college in Cincinnati. 
Beyond this foundational rivalry, many early faculty would serve at both universities. Famously William Holmes McGuffey joined the faculty of Miami in 1826, and began his work on the McGuffey Readers while in Oxford. McGuffey resigned in 1836 and became the President of the Cincinnati College, where he urged parents not to send their children to Miami noting, "where it was more likely they would be made into Drunkards and Gamblers than good Scholars." 
The Bearcats and RedHawks square off each fall for the famed Victory Bell. The first game in the series, played on December 8, 1888 in Oxford, Ohio, was the first college football game played in the state of Ohio. The original bell hung in Miami's Harrison Hall (Old Main) near the site of the first game and was used to ring in Miami victories. The traveling trophy tradition began in the 1890s when some Cincinnati fans "borrowed" the bell. The bell went to the winner of the annual game for the next forty years until it mysteriously disappeared in the 1930s. The original bell reappeared in 1946 and was on display in the lobby of Miami's Murstein Alumni Center for years. The current trophy is a replica of the original bell and is kept in the possession of the winning team each year. One side of the bell is painted black with white numbers showing Cincinnati's victories, while the other side is white with red numbers showing Miami's victories. Ties are indicated on the top of the red yoke in white numbers.
Given the proximity of the schools and many enrollees from the Greater Cincinnati area, from 1909 to 1970 the game was exclusively played at Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium over Thanksgiving Weekend, rather than hosting in the more rural Oxford. This made the Victory Bell a featured part of Thanksgiving traditions for fans of both schools. The intensity of the annual matchup was magnified in 1949 when College Football Hall of Fame coach Sid Gillman left Miami to coach Cincinnati.
The Miami–Cincinnati series ranks fifth on the list of most-played rivalries in college football and is the oldest Division I rivalry west of the Allegheny Mountains. After the 2010–2014 NCAA conference realignment led to the end of several historic rivalries, it is now the most-played currently active rivalry involving schools from the same state, and also holds the same distinction among inter-conference rivalries. Of the more than thirty college football rivalries that include at least 89 games, none is older than Miami vs. Cincinnati.
Miami and Cincinnati extended the rivalry series through 2029, committing to preserving one of the oldest and longest played games in college football. The Victory Bell will be hosted at Paul Brown Stadium in 2018, 2022, and 2026 as a part of the renewed contract.
|School Colors||Red & White||Red & Black|
|Stadium||Yager Stadium||Nippert Stadium|
|Cincinnati victories||Miami victories||Tie games|
Wins by venue
|Paul Brown Stadium||2||0||0|
- Havighurst, Walter (1984). The Miami Years. New York: G.P. Putnam and Sons. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
- Unger, Scott (11 September 28, 2006). "History of battle for Victory Bell". Cincinnati.com. Retrieved 24 January 2018. Check date values in:
- Clark, Dave (11 September 2017). "UC Bearcats, Miami RedHawks extend rivalry through 2029". Cincinnati.com. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
- "Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Miami (OH) RedHawks football series history games list". Winsipedia. Retrieved 16 September 2019.