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Wayne Cavadi | | November 16, 2019

The 11 most played rivalries in DII football history

DII football plays of the week

South Dakota Mines and Black Hills State played Saturday, Oct. 12 for the 134th time in the history of the two programs. That marks the longest played rivalry in the DII football record books.

Let's take a look at the 11 most-played rivalries between current DII football programs.

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That rivalry from The Mount Rushmore State is the oldest on the list, dating back to 1895. The Hardrockers were shutout by their now-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference foes 18-0 that late November day. South Dakota Mines took it to heart, and when the teams next met in 1900, the Hardrockers dominated the Yellow Jackets 27-0 to start a 14-game unbeaten stretch in the rivalry. After Black Hills State's 2019 victory, SD Mines now leads the all-time series, 63-60-11.

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The two have been pretty consistent of late, splitting the last decade with a 5-5 record. Last year, the Hardrockers won convincingly 62-14 behind running back Connor Silveria's breakout 227-yard, two-touchdown day. A week later, Silveria set the DII single-game rushing record with a 425-yard day against Adams State.

But there was another big, historic rivalry that was played on Oct. 12. Tuskegee and Morehouse played for the 108th time since the first meeting between the two in 1902. Tuskegee holds the most lopsided advantage on our list, now leading the all-time series 71-29-8 after the 21-10 win on Saturday. Morehouse finally got back in the win column last year with a 30-24 victory snapping a Tuskegee six-game winning streak in the series but couldn't get one going of their own. 

The Turnpike Tussle and Battle of the Ravine  — perhaps two of the better know rivalries in all of college football — are famous because of their proximity. Emporia State and Washburn travel the 58-mile trek down the Kansas Turnpike each year for some exciting MIAA football while Henderson State and Ouachita Baptist literally walk across the street to each other's stadium to see who will claim the rights to the Ravine.

Washburn cut into Emporia State's lead in 2019 with a 37-17 victory. Emporia State now holds a four-game lead over its Kansas rival. Ouachita Baptist eked out a 24-21 victory in 2019, breaking the deadlock, and now have a 44-43-6 advantage in the series.

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Below is a list of the 11 most played rivalries in DII football along with their series records and date of the 2019 matchup. 

DII football rivalries: The 11 most played rivalries in history

Games Teams (Series leader listed first) Series Record First game 2019 meeting
134 South Dakota Mines, Black Hills State 63-60-11 1895 BHSU, 48-28
116 Emporia State, Washburn 57-53-6 1899 Washburn, 37-17
110 Virginia State, Virginia Union 57-45-9 1900 VSU, 27-24 (OT)
107 Tuskegee, Morehouse 70-29-8 1902 Tuskegee, 21-10
105 Southeastern Oklahoma St., East Central 50-47-8 1909 East Central, 42-38
99 Catawba, Lenoir-Rhyne 49-46-4 1907 Lenoir-Rhyne, 49-3
98 Pittsburg State, Emporia State 62-34-2 1915 Pitt. St., 47-23
97 Truman, Central Missouri 52-40-5 1905 N/A*
93 Ouachita Baptist, Henderson State 44-43-6 1907 OBU, 24-21
91 Truman, Northwest Missouri State 54-33-4 1908 N/A+
90 Pittsburg State, Washburn 63-26-1 1921 Washburn, 49-38

(Notes: *Have not played since 2013 | + Have not played since 2011. Truman left the MIAA for the Great Lakes Valley Conference, annual games no longer scheduled. All records via the official NCAA DII football record book on

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