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Carolina-Mizzou To Become A Trophy Game

Yesterday in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier told a group of Gamecock boosters that his school and the SEC’s newest school — Missouri — are going to create a trophy for their new annual football game:

 

“We’re going to have a trophy for that game like we do for the Clemson game.  We already have the state championship trophy.  Since Missouri is also in Columbia, we’re going to have The Battle of the Columbias with a big trophy.  It should be fun.”

 

That according to the good folks at GamecockCentral.com — the Rivals site covering USC (and, yes, that means the quote’s behind a paywall).

Carolina and Missouri will battle for the first time as league mates this September.  In Columbia.  Columbia, South Carolina, that is.

Whether a trophy will kickstart the schools’ new rivalry is anyone’s guess.  Arkansas and LSU are border rivals and they’ve played for the Golden Boot trophy every year since 1996.  Even so, none other than ex-Razorback coach and AD Frank Broyles — who helped lead the Hogs to the SEC — recently said, “We don’t have a rivalry” in the SEC.  Trophy or no trophy, Arkansas-LSU hasn’t created the blood feud that once existed between UA and Texas, which is one reason Hog fans are happy to see old SWC rival Texas A&M join the SEC.

It takes at least one of three things to create a rivalry:

 

1.  Time — Schools that have played just 20 times won’t have the build up bad feelings that schools that’ve played 80 times will have.  The longer the history, the better the rivalry.

2.  Championship Races —  A recent example inside the SEC is the Florida-Tennessee rivalry.  Those schools had rarely played one another when the league went to divisions in 1992.  But just as they were launching an annual matchup, both schools found themselves in the Top 10 for much of the decade, battling back and forth for the East Division crown.  A heated rivalry was born.

3.  Odd Circumstances — A coach badmouthing another school or another coach.  A school turning in another for NCAA violations.  Crazed fan behavior.  Recruiting wars.  Pick your poison, but a rivalry can quickly be created if one side feels slighted by the other in any way, shape or form.  Especially in the Deep South where dueling’s only gone out of style because it was outlawed.

 

This isn’t to say Missouri and South Carolina won’t make for good — albeit distant — rivals in the long run.  And we at MrSEC.com are all in favor of trophy games.  We think creating The Battle of the Columbias trophy is sharp.  A natural move would be to somehow incorporate a personified Columbia into the prize itself, a la the Columbia Pictures logo at left.  We just believe it’ll take more than a trophy to ratchet up the hate between two schools that have rarely battled one another.

 

SIDENOTE — This news might pop the balloon of those few folks who’ve been holding out hope/belief that the SEC was secretly planning a raid of the ACC to reach 16 schools and push Missouri back to the SEC West.  We’ve told you that the SEC isn’t planning such a raid for months, but talk of NC State and Virginia Tech never seems to die.  Well, if the administrations at Carolina and Mizzou felt their rivalry would be short-lived, it’s doubtful they’d be adding any trophy.  If the league expands again and stays with an eight-game league schedule, USC and MU would face each other about twice a generation as non-division foes.

Things can change quickly when it comes to realignment and expansion, but for now, this seems to be a bit more proof — small as it is — that the presidents in Mike Slive’s conference aren’t eyeballing any further moves at the moment.  At least not to the east.

 


10 comments
sherwood1
sherwood1

As a Mizzou fan that has worked in the "other" Columbia I wwill look forward to going back for a rival game. I love Columbia SC and can't wait to visit their stadium! Great area and great food.

StLouieMike
StLouieMike

I for one look forward to trouncing the gamecocks once a year.  I have never held their program in very high regard and we have a leg up on the rivalry, can you say 2005 Independence Bowl.

Tim
Tim

I think the trophy should obviously be a visor in honor of the two head coaches

MoKelly
MoKelly

This is fine and good. But, whatever happened to the talk a little while ago of Missouri and Arkansas becoming permanent rivals? I am getting old and my memory is fading --- but did that all just die?

bonbonbon
bonbonbon

 @MoKelly I'm not sure that the Mizzou/ Carolina rivalry trophy has anything to do with the Mizzou/Arkansas cross division rivalry.  The obvious answer to this is that Mizzou and Carlina are in the same division  and Arkansas is the likely permanent cross division rivalry-- there is room for both.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

MoKelly...

 

A couple of months ago, the presidents at South Carolina and Texas A&M publicly stated that their schools would become permanent cross-divisional rivals, which suggested Missouri and Arkansas would be paired as permanent cross-divisional foes, too, under the league's new schedule format (to be voted on at the SEC Meetings later this month).  However, Carolina's prez also famously stated that the SEC would go to a nine-game schedule immediately and that the league office would help schools handle the buyouts for nonconference games that would have to be cancelled as a result.  In other words, you can't believe everything these guys say.

 

Everyone has gone quiet since those remarks and I personally think Mike Slive probably reminded both presidents that in the SEC, loose lips aren't appreciated.

 

So we're left to assume that UA-MU and A&M-USC will become permanent cross-division foes... but we have no proof of that.  That said, Missouri is certainly ramping up its recruiting efforts in Georgia and Gary Pinkel recently compared Atlanta to Dallas in terms of a recruiting hotbed.  I think that suggests that Pinkel knows he's about to lose his recruiting pipeline into Texas so he needs to start building one to Georgia.

 

Thanks for reading,

John

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

bonbonbon...

 

I don't think he did take it as the two were connected.  I think the trophy just had him wondering about matching up with Arkansas... in other words: Enough about Carolina, what's the latest on Tigers-Hogs?

 

That's how I took it anyway.

 

John

ChaseTheTrainWarren
ChaseTheTrainWarren

 @John at MrSEC  i think it is also a way for the gamecocks to get  away from Ark.

 

if the music starts for the permanent cross divisional chair starts back up and texas changes there mind this is a way for them to start playing footsy with Mizziou

MoKelly
MoKelly

 @John at MrSEC You got it right --- that is exactly what I was thinking. Perhaps my ADD got in the way. :)

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