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). The series is tied at 40-40-4 with Bowling Green having the most recent win as a 26.5 point underdog.
|Locations of Bowling Green and Toledo|
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.
Peace Pipe TrophyEdit
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 TrophyEdit
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).
Recent Toledo dominationEdit
Toledo won nine straight games from 2010-2018. The 2017 contest was, "a 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". In 2019, on the 100th anniversary of the rivalry, Toledo's streak ended as Bowling Green, a 26-point underdog, defeated the Rockets. The Falcons coached by first-year Head Coach Scot Loeffler dominated all game. Walk-on Grant Loy got his first career start at QB, rushing for 137 yards and a TD while throwing for another. The Falcons Defense led by Brandon Perce held the dominant Toledo offense to only 7 points as the Falcons won 20-7.
|Bowling Green victories||Toledo victories||Tie games|
- "Toledo Rockets vs Bowling Green Falcons". Odds Shark. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
- "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.
- "Falcon Football 100th Anniversary". Bowling Green State University. Retrieved 13 October 2019.