The regular season finale between Arkansas and Missouri dubbed the Battle Line Rivalry has yet to really take off yet, but it now has a permanent trophy to try and help add to the mix.
The two schools released pictures and details Monday of the trophy, which will be presented to the winner of Friday’s 1:30 p.m game between the Razorbacks (6-5, 4-3) and Missouri (5-6, 1-6).
The lead designer for the trophy was former Razorback player David Bazzel, who also headed up “The Boot” trophy that is awarded to the winner of the Arkansas-LSU game.
“We’ll make it that way,” Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema said of the budding rivalry. “We do alright in trophy games.
“I had given Bazzel some heat all the way through in creating it. I haven’t seen it live, but I saw the pictures of it this morning. Pretty cool. It’s a heavy sucker - 4-foot, 180, which is like a midget three technique.
“I like the looks of it, looks classy and hopefully it has got a lot of history in it and is something that we can build upon.”
Arkansas will be looking to add its second trophy this season after winning at LSU 31-14 earlier this month and keeping The Boot for the second straight season.
Bielema was asked where the Razorbacks would put the two trophies if he acquired both.
“You’re ahead of things, got to get things first,” Bielema said. “The thing that we have done - at my previous institutions that I have been at - is you set up a trophy case and you always have them on display because people go crazy for those things.
“It really is amazing. Our players love it and it is uniqueness to it to battle for a trophy. It means so much to the fan base and has a lot of carryover throughout the year that you definitely would want something like that.”
Missouri downed Arkansas 21-14 last season in Columbia, Mo., in the first game between the two since the Tigers entered the SEC in 2012.
The trophy depicts the outline of the two states with the border of the two states being divided by interchangeable silver inserts with the words Battle Line in either gold or cardinal.
The color of the battle line within the trophy will be reflective of the winner of the most recent game in the series.
The Battle Line Rivalry clashes against both geographic and historical boundaries - from disputed demarcations of the border separating the two states to notable alumni and former personnel with ties to both storied athletic programs.
“We are proud that one of the nation’s newest rivalries now has one of the most stunning trophies in all of college football,” said Jeff Long, University of Arkansas Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics. “We are grateful to David for his vision and to all of those who worked to help create this beautiful silver work of art. With the support of Shelter Insurance, we are quickly turning the Battle Line Rivalry into a budding college football tradition.”
That was the sentiment shared by Missouri Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades.
“We are excited to unveil a new trophy as part of the Battle Line Rivalry,” Rhoades said. “We appreciate Shelter Insurance’s investment in the series and believe the annual Missouri-Arkansas game has the opportunity to grow into one of college football’s great Thanksgiving weekend traditions.”
Battle Line Trophy