One of college football's most unusual rivalries takes place on Saturday, Nov. 16. Henderson State will travel to Ouachita Baptist for the 93rd Battle of the Ravine.
The Reddies will make the trek by foot — across U.S. Highway 67 in Arkadelphia, Arkansas — from their campus to the Tigers' Cliff Harris Stadium, a location voted one of the best places to watch DII football.
That's right: they walk. And it only takes about 5 minutes. Here's what you need to know about Saturday's rivalry.
1. The Battle of the Ravine is a clash of next-door neighbors
These two teams are as close as it gets. Henderson State's Carpenter-Haygood Stadium is a driver and 3-iron away from Ouachita Baptist's Cliff Harris Stadium. Per NCAA.com's Mike Lopresti, the golf coach has done it, playing shots from one end zone to the other.
If you walk from football field to football field, you won't even break a sweat. It's only 3,696 feet or just 0.7 miles depending on your preference of measurement. In fact, if the games are scheduled just right, both teams can probably scout each other without leaving the press box.
2. Henderson State at Ouachita Baptist is an old-school rivalry
These two certainly know each other very well. Saturday's meeting will be the 93rd Battle of the Ravine. The first game was in 1895, but Henderson State was Arkansas Methodist College back then. The series began as HSU vs. OBU in 1907 and — despite a 12-year hiatus due to prank wars by the schools — the 93 meetings place ninth all-time when it comes to DII football's most-played rivalries.
DII HISTORY: More on the 11 most-played rivalries in DII football
Here, see for yourself:
|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|
|104||Southeastern Oklahoma St., East Central||50-46-8||1909||Nov. 16, 2019|
|98||Catawba, Lenoir-Rhyne||49-45-4||1907||Nov. 16, 2019|
|98||Pittsburg State, Emporia State||62-34-2||1915||Pitt. St., 47-23|
|97||Truman, Central Missouri||52-40-5||1905||N/A*|
|92||Henderson State, Ouachita Baptist||43-43-6||1907||Nov. 16, 2019|
|91||Truman, Northwest Missouri State||54-33-4||1908||N/A+|
|90||Pittsburg State, Washburn||63-26-1||1921||Washburn, 49-38|
DII FLASHBACK: Why no one wanted to play Henderson State on the road
One additional fun fact between the two. Ouachita Baptist has won 26 conference games in a row. The record is 27 set by none other than Henderson State from 2011-2014.
3. This game has huge 2019 DII football championship tournament implications
Two top-25 teams. Check. Two teams in the top 7 of Super Region Three. Yup, that too. A share of the Great American Conference title? Oh yeah, that's on the line as well. We got a big one going down in Arkadelphia on Saturday.
Ouachita Baptist is No. 5 in DII football and the No. 3 team in Super Region Three. Henderson State is No. 20 in DII football, and holding on to the No. 7 spot in Super Region Three. It's the first time since 2014 that both teams are entering the game nationally ranked. That 2014 game set the GAC record as 12,228 fans of the Ravine piled into Carpenter-Haygood Stadium.
UNDER-THE-RADAR RIVALRIES: 11 NCAA rivalries you may not know, but should
Henderson State enters with the conference's second-best scoring offense. Ouachita Baptist counters with the second-best scoring defense. While the Tigers have the second-best rushing offense in the GAC, the Reddies answer with the second-best pass offense.
Ouachita Baptist will put its three-year winning streak on the line. Henderson State could very well be putting its NCAA tournament berth on the line. This has all the makings of a classic shootout, one that will give the winner the upper hand — at least for a year.