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TIGER KICKOFF: Missouri's new SEC mates play nonconference rivalry games all the time

Thursday, November 24, 2011 | 11:30 p.m. CST

With threats from Lawrence suggesting this weekend's Border Showdown could be the last meeting between Missouri and Kansas for some time, we took a look at the Tigers' new conference. It would seem that out-of-conference rivalry games are just another SEC tradition.

Here are five of the more notable ones.

Sunshine Showdown: Florida vs. Florida State. The Gators and Seminoles have played annually since 1958. According to an article from the Tampa Tribune, the Florida Senate voted in 1955 to force the two schools to play. The vote failed, but the rivalry started three years later anyway. Highlights of the series have included an 11-year stretch where both teams were ranked in the top 10 entering the game, two mid-1990s matchups in the Sugar Bowl and the time former Florida State athletics director Vaughn Mancha wouldn’t allow the Florida mascot on the sidelines. The 2011 edition of this rivalry game takes place Saturday night in Gainesville.

Battle for the Palmetto State: South Carolina vs. Clemson. These two schools in South Carolina have been playing a game every year since the early years of the 20th century, playing more than 100 games. Clemson leads the all-time series 65-39-4. The rivalry features a pair of ceremonies each year on the respective campuses during the week leading up to the game. In Columbia, South Carolina students burn a likeness of a tiger, the Clemson mascot. In Clemson, South Carolina mascot Cocky the rooster is given a mock funeral, which includes burning the chicken in a 55-gallon drum. This year, according to an article from the Independent Mail in Anderson, S.C., Chik-fil-A provided chicken sandwiches to Clemson students. The two schools will also meet Saturday night in a battle of two top-20 teams.

Governor's Cup: Kentucky vs. Louisville. Louisville and Lexington are just 75 miles apart. Although these schools have much more of a rivalry on the basketball court, they have met annually on the football field since 1994. Neither school boasts a successful football program; only four of the meetings having featured a ranked team. But, the two schools have strong basketball programs. Current Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino previously coached the Wildcats, adding more fuel to this rivalry's fire. For those looking to convince the basketball-minded Jayhawks to continue a Border Showdown of some kind, Louisville-Kentucky might be a good rivalry to point to.

Battle for the Rag: LSU vs. Tulane. The Tulane Green Wave played in the SEC for more than 30 years between 1932 and 1966. But, it was before the SEC existed when the Green Wave dominated its rivalry with the Bayou Bengals. Although Tulane is now a member of football-weak Conference USA, the Green Wave won 13 games against LSU between 1917 and 1939. The winner of the game is awarded the Tiger Rag, a flag created in 1940 featuring the logos of both schools. According to a 2003 article from Scout.com, the Tiger Rag was created as a truce between the schools after the 1938 game spawned a riot that featured a "bloody clash" of field-storming fans. See, the Missouri-Kansas rivalry isn't the only one to feature actual violence.

Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate: Georgia vs. Georgia Tech. Another 100-plus time occurrence, this football rivalry is so severe it has hate right in the title. The teams first met in 1893, when Georgia Tech defeated Georgia behind the efforts of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and Missouri fort namesake Leonard Wood. Wood was 33 years old at the time, and the Georgia fans were so displeased by the loss that they threw sticks and stones (literally) at the Tech players. The series currently stands at 61-37-5 in favor of the Bulldogs, with the next game coming Saturday.


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