Razorback_logoThis afternoon the Arkansas Razorbacks take on the Missouri Tigers in Columbia, MO. This will be the first meeting of the two teams since Mizzou joined the Southeastern Conference.

The official name for the game is the “Battle Line Rivalry.” Here’s a better name for it: The Marmaduke Bowl.

I’ll explain why below.

There haven’t been a lot of games between Razorbacks and Tigers over the years, but they did play one another as early as 1906. Here is the breakdown of the all-time series between the two schools, courtesy of Hogdatabase.com:

Arkansas VS Missouri Series History

Source: Hog Database (http://www.hogdb.com/)

So the two schools have played only five times in their history—pretty interesting considering how close Fayetteville and Columbia are. That’s going to change from here on out, though. The SEC has decided to make the Hogs and Tigers one another’s permanent cross-divisional rival. It’s an attempt to create a real rivalry for the two schools, based on their geographical proximity.

Why the Marmaduke Bowl? The ‘official’ name chosen for this game—Battle Line Rivalry—seems to play on the North/South sectional divide between Arkansas and Missouri going back to the Civil War. So if the Hogs and Tigers want that to be the basis for it, then Marmaduke Bowl is a name with at least more concrete history to it.

John S. Marmaduke

John S. Marmaduke

Marmaduke was the surname of Gen. John S. Marmaduke—a Civil War soldier claimed by both Missouri and Arkansas. Marmaduke was born in Missouri, yet he fought for the Confederate Army in Arkansas and spent most of the war riding back and forth between the two states. In 1863, he fought the last duel on Arkansas soil—which he won against a fellow officer. He was captured while on a raid in Missouri late in the war and wasn’t freed until August of 1865. Yet he settled in his home state of Missouri and became publicly active thereafter. In 1884, Marmaduke he was elected governor of Missouri, where one of his major political interests was in regulating the growing railroad industry. He was serving as Missouri’s governor when he died in 1887.

Given how both teams have played of late, this first Marmaduke Bowl ought to be a good one.

As for me, I’m rooting for the Hogs. Woo Pig Soooiieee!