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Wayne Cavadi | NCAA.com | October 10, 2021

The 11 most played rivalries in DII football history

West Florida is crowned the DII Football National Champion

South Dakota Mines and Black Hills State will play on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021 for the 136th 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.

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 SD Mines' latest victory, the Hardrockers lead the all-time series, 64-60-11.

The two have been pretty consistent of late, splitting the last decade with a 5-5 record. This year, the Hardrockers won the Black Hills Brawl convincingly 34-17 behind running back Ahmad Lewis and quarterback Jayden Johannsen.

In 2021, Tuskegee and Morehouse played for the 109th time since the first meeting between the two in 1902. Tuskegee holds the most lopsided advantage on our list, leading the all-time series 71-30-8 despite Morehouse's 31-15 on Oct. 9, 2021. 

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, but Emporia State struck back in 2021 and now holds a five-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.

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

DII football rivalries: The 11 most played rivalries in history

Games Teams (Series leader listed first) Series Record First game LAST meeting
135 South Dakota Mines, Black Hills State 64-60-11 1895 SD Mines, 34-17
118 Emporia State, Washburn 58-53-6 1899 Emporia State, 35-30
110 Virginia State, Virginia Union 57-45-9 1900 VSU, 27-24 (OT)
109 Tuskegee, Morehouse 70-30-8 1902 Morehouse, 31-15
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
99 Pittsburg State, Emporia State 63-34-2 1915 Pitt  St., 30-28
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 NCAA.org.)

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