Thursday, August 24, 2006
Our Biggest Rivalry Is???
Since I joined the BarkBoard I have noticed that one of the most debated issues is who Fresno State's biggest rivalry is. Many people argue that their number one rival is Boise State. Others feel it is San Jose State because of the long history we have with the Spartans. Still others feel as if it is San Diego State for historical reasons as well. This rivalry issue is one I have always wanted to write about because I have always thought the Bulldogs greatest rivalry is different than most other Bulldog fans believe it to be. However, before I get to who I believe the Dogs biggest rival is let's look at the other options that fans generally mention.
1) San Jose State - I believe those who argue San Jose State to be our biggest rival have a valid point. We have played San Jose more times than just about anyone else in our history. We have had some truly outstanding games with San Jose State. However, the last 13 years San Jose has not beaten Fresno State one time. For me that takes the rivalry idea away from our games with San Jose State.
2) San Diego State - Fresno State used to play San Diego State yearly. At that time San Diego State was a great rival for Fresno, but what people need to remember is we don't play San Diego yearly anymore. They are not part of our conference. This could become a rivalry for us once again but only if we renew our contract with San Diego State and the games are exciting like they were in the days of the early WAC.
3) Boise State - Many Bulldog fans feel as if Boise State has become our new biggest rivalry. I want to agree with everyone about this but I just don't think there is a big enough history with this team. Not to mention we have only played one close game with Boise since the Dogs began playing them yearly in 2001.
4) Hawaii - In my opinion we do not have a better rivalry in our history than Hawaii. I have experienced four home games against Hawaii and I don't feel like the crowd gets up for any other game quite like they do for Hawaii. Two years ago Hawaii ran through our Dog House at the beginning of the game and the Bulldogs pummeled Hawaii 70-14. Aside that game the bulk of our series have been nailbiters that have left the crowd with heartache or pleasure. Hawaii upset the Dogs in 2001 on the last play of the game. The following year they came into Bulldogs stadium and shut us down in the fourth quarter winning 31-21. However, the Dogs last season finally knocked off Hawaii at the Island but as usual it was a close down to the wire contest. My point is these games are always great games, and our fans dislike one another more than any other team I can think of. The home team generally wins the games but they are not blowouts for the most part. To me Hawaii is exactly what a rival should be and in 2006 I expect another close contest with Hawaii.
Now let's take a look at these three teams with respect to record comparison against Fresno State over the years:
Team Wins Losses Ties
vs. Boise State 4 4 0
vs. San Jose State 35 32 3
vs. San Diego State 20 26 4
vs. Hawaii 20 17 1
With respect to the amount of times we have played an opponent, this should take Boise out of the Rivalry question right off the bat. However the other three teams all make sense as a rival to Fresno State. Remember though, I am asking who is our greatest rivalry. In the end the best rivalry for the Dogs is up to each fan themself. I would like to know what you as fans think our biggest rival of Fresno State is. It's fine if you don't agree, we don't as fans always share the same opinions. I know for me it's Hawaii but for others it may be different and I am just interested in everyone's opinion.