Thursday, the two Mississippi teams in the Southeastern Conference met for the annual “Egg Bowl,” which determines who holds the egg-shaped trophy for the ensuing year. Both teams emerged with 8-4 records, so both will go to post-season bowl games.
Yesterday, Arkansas and Missouri met for their “Battle Line Rivalry.” Arkansas joined the SEC in 1991 after 76 years in the Southwest Conference. Mizzou joined the SEC in 2011 after 104 years in what eventually became the Big Eight Conference.
Arkansas and Missouri didn’t see much of each other until Missouri joined the SEC. They played against each other in football twice in the 20th Century (1906, 1944). They met in two bowl games (2003, 2008). Their first SEC match was in 2014.
Last night, I looked up the meaning of the “Battle Line Rivalry.” Arkansas and Missouri share a long state line, which (like Tennessee and Kentucky) coincides with the old boundary between the US and the Confederacy.
Yesterday, Mizzou won 29-27, so both teams finished the year with 6-6 records. Both teams are bowl eligible this year. Like Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above average, in the SEC, all the football teams are above average.
Maybe one day the trophy for the Tiger-Razorback winner will be redesigned as an “Olive Branch” trophy to remind us that the Civil War is over. Hey, if Missouri can be in the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference, anything is possible!
From “Battle Line Rivalry Trophy Unveiled For Annual Mizzou-Arkansas Games,” arkansasrazorbacks.com, November 23, 2015