November 28, 2014

Kent's Corner: Governor Games

As numerous rivalries are played between schools within the same state, there are several rivalry trophy games that are noted as Governor games. These include contests between Brown and Rhode Island, Central Connecticut and Southern Connecticut State, Kansas and Kansas State, Florida and Florida State, Colorado and Colorado State, Louisville and Kentucky, and Georgia and Georgia Tech. All these games are known as the Governor’s Cup. The Michigan-Michigan State game is the Paul Bunyan-Governor of Michigan game. Boise State and Idaho play for the Governor’s Trophy.

A few games played between teams from different states also have Governor in the trophy name: Minnesota and Penn State play for the Governor’s Victory Bell, while Dartmouth and Princeton play for the Governor’s Cup as do Eastern Washington and Montana.

Four of the above mentioned games will be played this weekend.

[caption id="attachment_1159" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Georgia vs. Georgia Tech is also known as "Clean, Old Fashioned Hate." Georgia vs. Georgia Tech is also known as "Clean, Old Fashioned Hate."[/caption]

The Georgia vs. Georgia Tech series is also known as “Clean, Old Fashioned Hate.” The first meeting was in 1893 with the Yellow Jackets winning 28-6. In 2013, Georgia won for the fifth consecutive year, 41-34. The Georgia Tech fight song contains the lyrics “Drop the battle ax on Georgia’s head,” while Georgia fans call Georgia Tech a “Trade-school.” The Bulldogs lead the series 64-39-5.

[caption id="attachment_1158" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Former Kansas coach Mark Mangino was an assistant for legendary K-State coach Bill Synder from 1991-1998. Former Kansas coach Mark Mangino was an assistant for legendary K-State coach Bill Synder from 1991-1998.[/caption]

Also known as the “Sunflower Showdown,” Kansas and Kansas State have played one another since 1902. Kansas leads the overall series 64-42-5. But, K-State has dominated of late winning the past five games. The Governor’s Cup trophy is the third trophy in the series history and originated in 1969. The series has been uninterrupted since 1911.

As Florida State did not begin its football program until 1947, and did not enter the major college ranks until the mid-1950’s, the Florida-Florida State rivalry is relatively new. The first meeting in 1958 came after the Florida legislature voted down a bill in 1955 requiring the schools to meet. The second-ranked Seminoles beat the top-ranked Gators in the first contest while Florida won the rematch in the Sugar Bowl to capture the National Championship. Florida holds a 34-22-2 series lead.

[caption id="attachment_1157" align="aligncenter" width="620"]The Hall of Fame houses jerseys from Louisville's Elvis Dumervil and Kentucky's Tim Couch. The Hall of Fame houses jerseys from Louisville's Elvis Dumervil and Kentucky's Tim Couch.[/caption]

Even more recent than Florida vs. Florida State is the annual contest between Louisville and Kentucky. The two schools played six times between 1912 and 1924 (all UK wins) but the annual series was not renewed until 1994. Since then, Louisville holds a 12-8 lead, and has a three-game win streak over the Wildcats.

Kent Stephens is the curator and historian at the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience. Kent has been a part of the Hall staff since 1990 when it was located in Kings Island, Ohio. He relocated with the Hall to South Bend, Ind., and moved to Atlanta in 2013, becoming the only member of the staff to serve at all three locations.

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