Back on Level Ground, SDSU has Obvious Edge

Travis Kriens

It is said that time makes the heart grow fonder and that is exactly what time has done for the SDSU/USD rivalry.

The two instate Division I schools have taken different paths to the same spot, where both currently are, even if it seems like their journey through the transition were eerily similar.

Both schools played in the Great West conference, but the big difference is that the GWC was already established when USD decided to make the jump, while SDSU was one of the founding members back in 2004.

Once SDSU secured spots in the Summit League and the Missouri Valley for football, a small uproar could be heard from Vermillion as they knew it was just a matter of time before they received their invite as well.

The fact is, without SDSU or NDSU in the Summit or MVFC, adding South Dakota wouldn’t make sense. USD was destined to end up in the same D-I conference as the Jackrabbits no matter where SDSU ended up.

SDSU still has the same three head coaches for football and basketball that where their a decade ago, while MBB coach Dave Boots is the only one at USD that remains.

So now that things are back to where they were a decade or so ago, where do we go from here?

The unofficial re-ignition of the rivalry happens Jan. 12 with four basketball games occurring within the next month. SDSU will be favored in every game these two schools will play for the foreseeable future or at least until USD can pull off the upset. SDSU has nothing to gain from these games as wins are expected while anything less than that will result in jubilation for those in red.

Players and coaches on both sides may say that this is just another game, but it’s more than that. Just like the MBB win at Washington was bigger than any win SDSU has ever had and just like the USD football victory over Minnesota was more than just a normal Saturday victory. The crowd for the game will be unlike anything you will see all year in the entire state for any sporting event and that reason alone makes it a special event.

But for this kind of importance to stay steady, this can not be a dominate rivalry where you know who is going to win before the games happen. If that happens, the luster of this thing is going to dull quickly. What you have now is two schools that are more than the 150 miles apart when it comes to athletics and one of the quickest ways for the gap to close is wins by USD which is easier said than done.

Be careful what you wish for USD, because now you have got it.