San Diego State and Fresno State will have an extra incentive for this Saturday's non-conference football match-up at Qualcomm Stadium, as the winner of the game will be presented with a special antique oil can trophy to honor the two schools' in-state rivalry.
The "Battle for the Oil Can" was coined as the result of a contest that was run jointly by the Fresno State and San Diego State Alumni Associations this fall.
About the contest
Entrants were asked to suggest a name for the rivalry game and as well as a trophy to commemorate it. Of the 65 entries received, one stretched back into history telling about the discovery of an oil can from Fresno (circa 1935) that was supposedly recovered during a San Diego State campus building project.
Cars in those days carried extra oil and water to be sure they could make it through difficult trips.
"The oil can likely came from a time when Aztec and Bulldog fans traveled to football games between the two schools via the old, twisting, precipitous Grapevine section of Highway 99 over Tejon Pass," said Jacquelyn K. Glasener, executive director of the Fresno State Alumni Association.
The alumni associations agreed on the winning entry, the "Battle for the Oil Can," and purchased an antique oil can to be the basis of the trophy, which will be awarded to the winner of this year's game.
"Cars in those days carried extra oil and water to be sure they could make it through difficult trips," added Jim Herrick, executive director of the San Diego State Alumni Association.
The contest's winning entry was submitted anonymously and therefore, all the other entrants became eligible for the grand prize. A drawing, which will be overseen by both schools' alumni associations, is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 2, at San Diego State's Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center to determine the winner, who will receive an iPad2.
The Aztec-Bulldog series dates back to 1923, with San Diego State winning the initial meeting 12-2 at home. Since then, the sides have met 49 more times, including every year from 1945-79, when the two competed in the same conference or were independents.
After not facing one another between 1979-1991, the schools resumed the annual series from 1992-98, when both were members of the Western Athletic Conference. The most recent meeting was in 2002, with Fresno State holding on to defeat San Diego State 16-14 at Bulldog Stadium. SDSU, however, leads the all-time series at 26-20-4, including a 13-11-2 mark in San Diego.
Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m. PT at Qualcomm Stadium and will be televised live in high definition on CBS Sports Network, while also being shown locally on Channel 4 San Diego.
Game tickets can still be purchased 24 hours a day via GoAztecs.com or by calling 619-283-7378. Or visit the Aztec Ticket Office (Qualcomm Stadium - Window E).