Robert Bush 6:31 p.m., May 18
The Fresno State Bulldogs won’t officially join the Mountain West Conference until next year. The San Diego State Aztecs are considering a move out of the Mountain West, eyeing the Big East as a possible home for athletics. Their respective football teams haven’t played one another since 2002. Regardless, alumni associations for the respective schools are attempting to establish a rivalry game, complete with its own “trophy.”
After running an open contest to name what (at least temporarily) will be an annual matchup, the alumni groups have jointly concocted the “Battle for the Oil Can,” the winner of 65 entries received. The author of the suggestion linked the name to a 1930s-era oil can from Fresno that was allegedly unearthed during a construction project at San Diego State.
“The oil can likely came from a time when Aztec and Bulldog fans traveled to football games between the two schools via the old, twisting, precipitous Grapevine section of Highway 99 over Tejon Pass,” Jacquelyn K. Glasener, Fresno State Alumni Association’s executive director, told the SDSU News Center. The teams have played 50 times in total starting in 1923, though only once since the Aztecs left the Western Athletic Conference in 1999.
An antique oil can has been purchased as the basis for a trophy to be retained by the game’s annual winner, and will first be presented following this Saturday’s contest.