Middle Tennessee is not our rival. They might be listed as such on a video game but no one in Denton, Texas thinks about anyone from Murfreesboro, Tennessee with any great urgency.
Our little football team has played some interesting games against the Blue Raiders in the short history between the two. North Texas won the first five match ups in the Sun Belt including three in Tennessee, but dropped the next four, including three in Denton. Since 2010, North Texas has won three of five including both games in Texas and one in Tennessee. Since 2011, the two have traded wins.
That does not really matter too much as I expect you just realized that now. Florida-Tenn this ain’t.
Still, these two teams have traded blow out wins since 2011, when Lance Dunbar completely obliterated MTSU’s run defense with 313 yards and four touchdowns in his final game. 2014 was the only year since 2001 that these two have not played, thanks to a shared conference affiliation throughout — first Sun Belt and then CUSA.
This series is not about football though. It is about learning a little bit about our opponent. So let’s.
Middle Tennessee State was founded in 1911 as a normal college for teachers. Just like us! Buds!
They call themselves the Blue Raiders, because in 1934, Chuck Sarver decided that was what they should be. Before that they were the Pedagogues, which is a great name. I will try to find a way use that on twitter. Chuck stole that from Colgate U Red Raiders. So they are also the Unoriginals.
They also stole their fight song from Kentucky. These guys are raiders. Their true rivals are WKU, and maybe Marshall.
Murfreesboro is named after Hardy Murfree, after first being named after Newton Cannon, which is the better name. Cannonsburgh is a better name than Murfreesboro. Ol’ Hardy won a battle or two against British Raiders, so really, naming their teams Raiders is kind of a slap in the face of the dude.
Interestingly, Nissan is the largest employer, not the University. If you want to find something to do when there, you might head to the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. It seems like a cool place to practice your religion freely, as is your right. I suppose — if you believe some of the locals — it is the center of a plot to overthrow the Constitution and impose Sharia law.
If you like history, you can always relieve the Battle of Stones River at Stones River National Battlefield. Nearby you can find the Hazen Brigade Monument, the oldest American Civil War monument standing in its original location.
Hazen refers to Col. William B. Hazen whose brigade held their position — 300 style I assume — against four Confederate attacks. Their defense “ended the advance of the Confederate Army of Tennessee and kept it from pushing the Union Army of the Cumberland back to Nashville.”
Those dudes were badasses.
A random list of folks you may have heard of that had the misfortune of going to MTSU:
1. Al Gore’s dad.
2. Tyrone Calico, whose career was kinda-sorta ended by Roy Williams (the safety).
3. Amy Lee, of Evanescence. BRIIIING MEEEE TOOOO LIFFFFFEEE
Middle Tennessee thought about changing the name of Forrest Hall, named after the Confederate General and former Klan leader but the effort petered out.
They have an alumnus named Johnny Quinn also. WTF.