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FCS Football: 10 FCS Rivalries We're Missing This Month

FCS Football: 10 FCS Rivalries We're Missing This Month

FCS Football: 10 FCS Rivalries We're Missing This Month

The FCS schedule had a strong ending to October, including a "War for the Wheel" matchup over Halloween weekend in which Southern Illinois edged Southeast Missouri in their 88th all-time meeting.

Unfortunately, November doesn't have such rivalries. With a limited schedule in the fall — only 18 of the 127 FCS programs in action — most big rivalry matchups aren't occurring.

Here are 10 key FCS rivalries being missed this month:

Lehigh vs. Lafayette (Patriot)

With 155 all-time meetings (Lafayette leads 79-71-5), this is college football's most-played rivalry, and it's been held every year since 1897. The 150th matchup in 2014 was played at Yankee Stadium.

Harvard vs. Yale (Ivy)

"The Game" has been played 136 times (Yale leads 68-60-8), drew a visit by ESPN's "College GameDay" in 2014, and sold out Fenway Park in 2018.

Montana vs. Montana State (Big Sky)

"The Brawl of the Wild" brings out the fiercest trash-talking in the FCS. Montana leads 73-41-5 through 119 meetings, but Montana State owns a four-year winning streak.

Grambling State vs. Southern (SWAC)

The Bayou Classic is played Thanksgiving weekend and big enough for the Mercedes-Benz Superdome because it sometimes draws the largest crowd of the FCS season. Southern leads 38-33 through 71 meetings, but it's 23-23 since the series became the Bayou Classic in 1974.

Bethune-Cookman vs. Florida A&M (MEAC)

Florida A&M holds a 50-24-1 series lead through 75 meetings, but it's only 21-19 since the game became the Florida Classic in 1978, and Bethune has captured the last nine meetings. Both schools will be SWAC members when they meet again.

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Richmond at William & Mary (CAA)

It took an overtime win last season for William & Mary to slip into a 63-62-5 series lead through 130 meetings. Since 2009, the winner of the oldest rivalry in the South has claimed the Capital Cup.

Stephen F. Austin vs. Northwestern State (Southland)

After the "Battle for Chief Caddo," a 7-foot-6, 330-pound wooden statue is presented to the winning team. Northwestern State, which leads 45-27-3 through 75 meetings, is located in Natchitoches, La., and SFA in Nacogdoches, Texas — towns named from Caddo Tribe place names.

UC Davis vs. Sacramento State (Big Sky)

A mere 20 miles separate the two California rivals, whose meeting in the Causeway Classic is basically an FCS version of Cal-Stanford. UC Davis holds a 46-21 series lead, but the last six meetings are a split.

South Dakota vs. South Dakota State (Missouri Valley)

The disagreements, er series, began in 1889. The in-state rivals don't even agree on the record between the two, with SDSU reporting a 54-51-7 lead (112 meetings) and USD saying it's 55-52-7 (114 meetings). The Coyotes cut into their deficit last season, ending a record 10-game losing streak in the series.

Maine vs. New Hampshire (CAA)

New Hampshire holds a 57-45-8 lead in The Battle for the Brice-Cowell Musket. In the 1919 matchup, there was confusion about UNH's last-minute trick play being a touchdown or a touchback, and it took several days before officials ruled it was a touchback, preserving Maine's 7-3 win.

Others

The list doesn’t really end with 10 FCS rivalries in November, so also take note of these big ones:

North Carolina A&T at North Carolina Central (Aggie-Eagle Classic in the MEAC; North Carolina A&T leads, 52-34-5); Delaware vs. Villanova (Battle of the Blue in the CAA; Villanova leads 31-21-1); Southeastern Louisiana at Nicholls (River Bell Classic in the Southland; Nicholls leads, 15-14).

— Written by Craig Haley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Haley has covered the FCS level since 1999 and is the national writer for www.fcs.football. He appears frequently on radio shows and podcasts to discuss everything FCS. Follow him on Twitter @CraigHaley.

(Photo courtesy of Gary Hardamon/Northwestern State Athletics)