|This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2018)|
|First contested||October 9, 1936|
Middle Tennessee 19, Troy State 0
|Number of meetings||20|
|Most recent meeting||November 24, 2012|
Middle Tennessee 24, Troy 21
|All-time series||Middle Tennessee leads 12–8|
|Largest victory||Troy, 45–7 (2007)|
|Longest win streak||Middle Tennessee, 8 (1936–1953)|
Template:OSM Location map The Battle for the Palladium was the annual college football rivalry matchup between the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders and Troy Trojans. The history between Middle Tennessee and Troy dated back further (1936) than any other two programs in the Sun Belt Conference, but in 1999 the rivalry was renewed after a 46-year hiatus. The lengthy period was a result of the two programs competing in different divisions. That all changed when Troy announced it would make the move from Division I-AA to I-A and join the Sun Belt Conference allowing the two programs to compete annually. With the program's history dating back longer than any other in the conference, the proximity between the schools, and the intense recruitment for the same players, the rivalry quickly re-ignited from 1999 to 2001. The rivalry escalated when both teams unintentionally attended the same movie theater and a few verbal taunts were traded the night before the 2001 contest. In 2003, The Palladium Trophy was introduced in Murfreesboro, Tenn. A year later, Troy officially joined the Sun Belt Conference after completing its final year of transition from Division I-AA to I-A.
In 2008, while Troy and Middle Tennessee were in the Sun Belt Conference together, ESPN named The Battle for the Palladium as one of the Top 5 non-BCS intra-conference rivalries in college football.
Greek mythology holds that The Palladium is a wooden statue that fell from the Heavens. It was kept at the Temple of Athena in the city of Troy. According to legend, as long as The Palladium was preserved within the walls of the city, Troy would be safe and could not be taken. However, a raider by the name of Odysseus—also known as the Raider of Cities—stole the Palladium during the Trojan War leading to the fall of Troy. In the spirit of the Blue Raiders' and Trojans' link to Greek mythology, Middle Tennessee and Troy compete in the Battle for The Palladium whenever they meet in football. Legend dictates the winner of The Palladium gains an unknown and unexplainable advantage over the other making it more difficult to regain control during future battles. The history between the two schools dates back to 1936 with the Blue Raiders owning a 12–8 advantage in the series. 
History of the trophyEdit
In 2003, alumni from Middle Tennessee undertook a grassroots effort to engage fans, alums, and the Student Government Associations from both schools to capitalize on the escalating rivalry with a trophy. The Palladium became the perfect match due to the schools' Greek Mythology ties. Middle Tennessee's mascot, Lightning, is a Pegasus-like winged horse, and the city of Troy has forever been linked to Greek Mythology. Marcia Berkall, a wood carving artists who owns Whittlins and Wood, was commissioned to replicate the wooden statue of Athena and The Palladium was born. The Palladium is approximately three feet tall and is made of basswood. Gold leaf was applied to Athena's helmet, shield and to the tip of the spear. 
History of the seriesEdit
From 1936 to 1953, Middle Tennessee dominated the series winning eight consecutive matchups. In those early years, the games were generally lopsided as Middle Tennessee shutout Troy in five of the eight wins. Troy earned its first win when the series renewed in 1999. In a stretch from 2006 to 2011, Troy had won six straight and seven of the past eight meetings. The last game was played in 2012, with Middle Tennessee winning 24-21. Middle Tennessee currently leads the all-time series 12–8.
The most memorable game in the rivalry came in 2006. With Middle Tennessee undefeated in conference play on the final day of the regular season and Troy hoping to beat the Blue Raiders to gain a share of the conference championship, the Trojans scored 14 points in the final 2:19 to win 21–20 in what has been called the Miracle in Murfreesboro. Middle Tennessee appeared to have throttled the Trojans high-powered offense for the entire game and led comfortably when Troy took possession with just over two minutes left. However, Troy scored a quick touchdown followed by a successful onside kick. Troy then scored the game clinching touchdown with seconds remaining preventing Middle Tennessee from winning its first outright Sun Belt Championship. [dead link] Troy and Middle Tennessee shared the conference championship, but it was Troy who went on to the New Orleans Bowl. Middle Tennessee was selected for the Motor City Bowl.
There are currently no future schedules featuring these two schools to play each other in the Battle for the Palladium game.
|Middle Tennessee victories||Troy victories|
See also Edit
- ↑ Watson, Graham (August 22, 2008). "Top 5 non-BCS in-conference rivalries". ESPN. http://www.espn.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/223/top-5-non-bcs-in-conference-rivalries. Retrieved June 20, 2017.