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There Is A Trophy Now. And It Isn’t Terrible.

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An honest-to-God trophy is unveiled for the I-4 rivalry.

GoUSFBulls.com

Well, here it is, folks. Take a look.

rivalry trophy
The War On I-4 rivalry trophy. The other side has “Orlando” and a UCF logo.
gousfbulls.com

That 160-pound hunk of wood and metal is the official “War on I-4” trophy. It is sanctioned by both universities, and was created jointly with input from both schools.

Our reaction was... surprisingly, we don’t hate it.

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For starters, “War on I-4” is the official name now, which is good. Much better than “I-4 Corridor Clash”, the overly focus-grouped name they settled on in 2013 when “War on I-4” wasn’t available for some reason. The interstate connecting the two cities has always been the symbol of this rivalry, and the trophy incorporates the road sign as its main design element. This is all good.

But the trophy itself lacks whimsy. It’s a little too corporate-looking. It looks less like a college sports rivalry trophy, and more like something awarded to the company’s top traveling salesman of the year. And it’s a little too regular. The city names and the school logos look like they were measured to the millimeter not to show favoritism, like the meeting rooms in Panmunjom.

Given the icy nature of this rivalry, no organic trophy was ever going to spring forth, like the hilarious $5 Broken Bits of Chair Trophy did. (Sadly, Nebraska wants to do away with it, because of its roots in “a certain coach from the past.” Apparently, Bo Pelini is being made an unperson. Nebraska does that.)

So in that way, the trophy’s basic, neutral design can be an asset. It’s a blank slate, which can gain a personality and meaning over the years to come. So, as long as we must be in the same conference with those jokers, we’re OK with this trophy.

So how does USF win the trophy? There are two trophies, one for football, and one for all sports. The all-sports trophy is awarded on a complicated points system, but it’s basically six points for every sport.

Got all that? Suffice it to say that head-to-head victories, and better finishes in multi-team competitions like golf and track & field, earn points for each school.

The first question that popped into our heads was: how many times would USF have won the all-sports trophy by now? In the AAC era, where the current scoring system can easily be applied:

2015-16: USF wins 62-22.

2014-15: UCF wins 46.5 to 37.5. (The schools played 4 times in softball, and UCF won 3, so I gave them 4.5 points.)

2013-14: UCF wins 53-31.

So UCF has won 2 out of 3 seasons. And, both teams would have taken both trophies each year, since the winner of the football game also won the overall competition.

It’s difficult to calculate a score going back any further, because four sports (mens’/women’s golf, women’s track & field, women’s cross-country) are scored on conference tournaments, and the teams were in vastly different conferences most of that time. Any such comparisons would be arbitrary. (Also, I refuse to give UCF any points for their accomplishments in the friggin’ Atlantic Sun while USF was facing much tougher opponents.)

I can, however, provide a point total for the sports we can determine:

YEAR Baseball M BB W BB Football M Soc W Soc Softball M Tennis W Tennis Volleyball USF UCF
2012-13 USF 2-0 C. Fla. C. Fla. USF USF USF 24 12
2011-12 C. Fla. 2-0 USF (N) C. Fla. USF USF USF USF 30 12
2010-11 split C. Fla. C. Fla. (N) C. Fla. USF USF 15 21
2009-10 split USF USF C. Fla. split 18 12
2008-09 USF 3-1 C. Fla. USF USF USF USF 28.5 7.5
2007-08 split 2-2 USF USF USF C. Fla. USF USF USF 39 9
2006-07 USF 2-1 USF C. Fla. USF C. Fla. 16 14
2005-06 USF 2-1 USF C. Fla. USF USF USF 28 8
2004-05 C. Fla. 2-1 C. Fla. USF 4-0 C. Fla. 8 16
2003-04 USF 2-1 C. Fla. USF 2-0 C. Fla. 10 14
2002-03 USF 2-1 USF USF 2-0 USF 22 2
2001-02 USF 3-2 USF C. Fla. C. Fla. split* 12.6 17.4
2000-01 split 2-2 USF USF USF USF 2-0 27 3
1999-00 split 2-2 USF USF USF USF 2-0 27 3
1998-99 C. Fla 3-1 USF USF USF USF 2-0 25.5 4.5
1997-98 C. Fla 3-2 USF C. Fla. 8.4 9.6
1996-97 split 3-3 USF USF split 18 6
1995-96 split USF USF 2-0 15 3
1994-95 C. Fla. 4-0 USF USF split 21 3
1993-94 C. Fla. 2-1 C. Fla. USF USF USF 2-0 20 10
1992-93 C. Fla. 2-1 USF 2-0 USF 2-0 USF USF 2-0 26 4
1991-92 C. Fla. 2-1 USF USF split 17 7
1990-91 USF 2-0 USF USF 3-0 18 0
1989-90 split USF USF USF 2-0 21 3
1988-89 C. Fla. 2-0 USF C. Fla. USF 3-0 12 12
1987-88 C. Fla. 2-0 USF USF 2-0 C. Fla. USF 3-1 18 12
1986-87 USF 2-0 USF USF 4-0 18 0
1985-86 split USF USF 4-0 15 3
1984-85 USF 4-0 tie USF 3-0 15 3

For 13 of those 29 seasons, USF has a large enough lead (18 points or more) that UCF would need to sweep the remaining sports to win. The other 16 seasons are toss-ups, and USF has the edge in 10 of those, with one being tied. Don’t take these numbers too literally, but I think it’s safe to say that USF would have won the all-sports trophy at least two-thirds of the time.

But that was the past. The all-sports competition has been closer lately, with UCF winning more in sports like volleyball and softball. And if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know we love to talk about volleyball, softball, and other less glamorous sports. So we are happy with this. In fact, we already have a hashtag in mind: #BothTrophies.

There is an official website, war-on-i4.com, that posts an up-to-date scoreboard. Currently UCF leads 15-9. UCF won all 6 points for volleyball and cross-country, and 3 points for the women’s soccer game that ended in a tie. USF got 3 point for that tie, plus 6 for the win in men’s soccer. Next is, of course, football.