The 122nd Brawl of the Wild is this weekend and whether you are dawning the bright gold rush blue and gold colors of the MSU Bobcats or the maroon and silver of the Grizzlies, this weekend is the ever famous Brawl of the Wild rivalry game set to take place in Missoula Montana tomorrow afternoon.
In the rugged wilderness of Big Sky Country, an age-old rivalry is set to reignite as the Montana Griz clash with the Montana State Bobcats in a highly anticipated showdown.
The Griz lead the overall series 73-42-5. Since the Big Sky era has began the Griz lead 31-27. UM is 32-17-1 in Missoula overall and 13-5 at Washington Grizzly.
This rivalry between the Griz and the Cats is deeply ingrained in the culture and tradition of the state of Montana. It goes beyond football, encompassing academics, community pride, and regional supremacy.
The game is a symbol of statewide bragging rights and generates intense emotions among supporters of both teams and this year is no different, in fact it might be the most meaningful game yet.
Like in previous matchups there has been a lot of history made but this may be the most historic and meaningful Brawl of the Wild to date.
No not because College Gameday will be there like they were a year ago in Bozeman, but something a little more salivating.
This is the first time in the rivals historic matchup that the winner of this game is the outright Big Sky Conference Champ. The epic battle was moved to the final game of the season 30 years ago and now it means all that much more.
The Griz look to win their first Big Sky title since 2011 when they shared it with MSU in 2011 but was later vacated due to NCAA Infractions meaning the Griz last hoisted their official Big Sky title in 2009.
The Cats had their most recent a year ago when they shared a 8-0 conference record with Sacramento State.
The winner will earn a top 1 or 2 seed in the FCS playoffs while the loser can still earn a bye and a top 5-8 seed in the playoffs.
This is also the first time in the Brawl history that both teams have been ranked in the top 5 in the nation.
UM’s coach Hauck has an overall 6-5 record against the Bobcats and his Grizzlies are riding an 8 game home winning streak heading into Saturday’s primed matchup.
The Cats emerged victorious in blowout fashion last year in a 55-21 routing of the Griz on their way to a terrific playoff run. The Cats have made some serious noise the previous 2 seasons in the FCS the most memorable was their first National Championship appearance since 1984.
Whether you’re a fan of the Griz or the Cats, the Cat-Griz football game is an event that unites the state of Montana and brings out the best of collegiate competition. It’s a celebration of the passion, pride, and camaraderie that sports can ignite, and it’s a spectacle that leaves a lasting impression on all who experience it.
So this Saturday whichever you bleed please remember this is a game for fun, be kind to each other because at the end of the day we are all Montanans, this weekend we are a state divided but yet untied, enjoy yourselves, cheer hard and may the best team win.