- Wagon Wheel (trophy)
The Blue and Gold Wagon Wheel, now known simply as the Wagon Wheel, is awarded to the winner of the annual
college footballgame between the University of Akronand Kent State University.
The trophy is, as the name implies, the wheel from a horse-drawn
wagonthat is painted blue and gold, the colors in which both teams play.
The University of Akron and Kent State University, located just 10 miles apart, first played for the Wagon Wheel in 1946. The story goes that John R. Buchtel was searching for a site to start a new college in 1870 near what is now
Kent State Universitywhen his wagon became stuck in the mud. The horses pulled the wagon apart and one of the wheels ended up being buried. Buchtel would eventually settle on a site in Akron for Buchtel College, which would eventually become the University of Akron. In 1902, while digging for a pipeline in Kent, the wheel was discovered and eventually came into the possession of Kent State dean of men Dr. Raymond Manchester. It was he who suggested in 1945 that the wheel be used as a trophy for the winner of the Kent State-Akron football game [http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/sports/colleges/kent_state_university/15646703.htm] . When the rivalry first started, Kent State dominated the series every year until 1954, when the rivalry was scrapped due to a lack of competition. It was reinstated in 1972 and has been an annual contest since. In 1992, Akron joined the Mid-American Conferenceand the rivalry became a conference game.
Akron currently holds a 29-20-2 edge in the overall series and Kent State holds a 19-18-1 series lead in Wagon Wheel games.
Akron has won ten of the last twelve meetings against Kent State, beginning with six consecutive victories from 1997-2002. Kent State finally broke through in 2003, winning a 41-38 thriller at Akron, led by current
Cleveland Brownsreturner Joshua Cribbs. The Zips, led by current Seattle Seahawksquarterback Charlie Frye, bounced back with 24-19 and 35-3 wins in both 2004 and 2005 respecively before Kent State won 37-15 at Kent in 2006. The most recent game, on 4 October 2008, saw the Zips win 30-27 in overtime at Dix Stadiumin Kent, making the overall Wagon Wheel series 19-18-1 in favor of Kent State.
The next scheduled meeting between the two teams will be in 2009, at
Summa Field at InfoCision Stadiumin Akron.
"Akron victories are shaded ██ blue. Kent State victories shaded ██ gold. Ties shaded ██ silver.""Only trophy games are listed."
* Denotes overtime game
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