Sacramento State's colors are green and gold and its mascot is the Hornet. In all sports, the university has a rivalry with the University of California, Davis due to close proximity. The football game is called the Causeway Classic and is played for the Causeway Cup, referring to the school's connection by the long Yolo Causeway bridge over the Yolo Bypass floodway. More recently, the rivalry was officially expanded to include all sports the teams compete in.
The university offers 20 intercollegiate sports, and just recently added pole vaulting as a additional sport. Sac State sports teams participate in NCAA Division I (FCS for College Football). Conference breakdowns are as follows:
- Big Sky Conference: Men's Basketball, Football, Men's Cross Country, Men's Indoor Track & Field, Men's Tennis, Men's Outdoor Track & Field, Women's Volleyball, Women's Basketball, Women's Cross Country, Women's Indoor Track & Field, Women's Golf, Women's Tennis, Women's Outdoor Track & Field, Women's Soccer
- Mountain Pacific Sports Federation: Men's Soccer
- America Sky Conference: Men's Golf
- Pacific Coast Softball Conference: Softball
- Western Athletic Conference: Baseball, Women's Gymnastics
- Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association: Rowing
Scholarships are offered in all sports. The football and track and field teams compete in Hornet Stadium, baseball at John Smith Field, and the volleyball, men's and women's basketball and gymnastics teams call Colberg Court home, in honor of legendary volleyball coach Debby Colberg. The baseball stadium was renamed John Smith Field in 2011 in honor of the long-time head coach.
Most athletic teams compete in the Big Sky Conference. Sacramento State is the only school from California in the Big Sky, which also includes Eastern Washington, Portland State, Idaho State, Northern Colorado, Northern Arizona and Weber State. UC Davis and Cal Poly will join the Big Sky for football in 2012.
In 2003 and from 2005 to 2007, the university hosted the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Hornet Stadium.
2010 conference realignments Edit
Recently, there have been speculations that the Hornets' Athletic department may move to the Football Bowl Subdivision  due to the population base of Sacramento (Ranked 20th largest in college sports ), the (enrollment) size of the University, and the attractiveness of recruiting in the Sac-Joaquin Section. The WAC have shown interest of adding Sacramento State Hornets for years (their baseball and gymnastics program are currently in the WAC), and Commissioner Dough Fullerton of Big Sky was told that the WAC have contacted Sac State officials about a possible invitation. However, the Hornets needed to add an additional sport for women in order to meet the criteria of Title IX and needed to fund a new sports complex for men's and women's basketball and volleyball because the Colberg Court was inadequate for FBS level sports and is severely outdated (crowd capacity of 1200 persons ); often being compared to high school gyms. Since the 2010-2012 NCAA conference realignment, Sac State was unable to fund for a massive facility upgrade for their athletic facilities (including basketball/volleyball, football, baseball and softball among others) in order to move to the FBS due to the current struggling economy and resistance from students and faculty members because of increasing tuition and overall cost. To add on, the Football program was required to have an attendance average of 15,000 each season and the athletic department needed to increase overall funds for their athletic programs. On June 6, 2011, Big Sky Commissioner Doug Fullerton announce that "the Big Sky schools are in a better place than the WAC, and that all current (Big Sky) schools are committed to staying with their current conference rather than jumping up to the FBS", marking an end to speculations of the Hornets programs moving to the FBS for this duration of conference realignment.
Although the Hornets will not change conferences, they will welcome their rival UC Davis and Cal Poly to the Big Sky conference in 2012 for football only, and North Dakota and Southern Utah for all sports.
Sacramento State FootballEdit
The Sacramento State Hornets Football program began in 1954, coached by Dave Strong (The teams' first football head coach). The programs' first victory came in the second season, 1955, where the Hornets defeated Southern Oregon by a point, which was also their only win of the season(they were win less in their first season of football). Sacramento State Football first affiliated with the Northern California Athletic Conference (NCAC) from 1962 until 1972, where they were added to the Western Football Conference (WFC) from 1973 to 1985, then becoming part of the D-1AA American West Conference (AWC). In 1996, Sac State was added to the Big Sky Conference along with Portland State, becoming the first California school in the Big Sky. Hornet Stadium has been home to the football team since 1969.
The team has never been ranked in any major polls by the end of all their past seasons, but have successfully won 4 conference titles: 1964 and 1966-NCAC, 1986-WFC, and 1995-AFC. The Hornets football team participated in 2 bowls, The Pasadena Bowl in 1968 against Grambling State, where the Hornets lost 7-34, and The Camellia Bowl in 1964 ( 1964 College Division National Runner-up), where Montana State Bobcats defeated the Hornets 28-7.
One of Sac State's most notable wins came on September 3, 2011 in the season opener for both Sac State and Oregon State Beavers of the Pacific-12 conference at Reser Stadium. The Hornets upset the Beavers in OT 29-28 with a 2 point conversion pass from QB Jeff Flemming to WR Brandyn Reed, beating an AQ Conference team for the first time in school history in front of an announced crowd of 41,581. The Beavers were a 23 point favorite coming into the game.
Sacramento State Football team plays against their arch rivals, UC Davis Aggies, annually and usually the last game of the regular season. This rivalry game is known as The Causeway Classic, with UC Davis leading the series 40 to 18 with no ties. This game has drawn crowds up to 18,000 in the Hornet Stadium, and is widely popular in the local area. Other notable rivalries includes Portland State, Eastern Washington, Weber State, and the Montana schools.
- Mike D. Black-Seattle Seahawks (1986–87)
- Mike Carter-Green Bay Packers (1970–72)
- Dan Chamberlain-Detroit Lions (1960–61)
- John Farley-Cincinnati Bengals (1984)
- John Gesek-Los Angeles Raiders (1987-1995)
- Rob Harrison-Los Angeles Raiders (1987)
- Jon Kirksey-New Orleans Saints (1996)
- Ken O'Brien-New York Jets (1984-1993)
- Greg L. Robinson-New England Patriots (1986–87)
- Daimon Shelton-Jacksonville Jaguars (1997-2006)
Sacramento State Marching BandEdit
The Sacramento State Marching Band performs at home football games each fall, as well as at numerous other university functions and also periodically at high school band festivals. The Hornet Revue Pep Band is a subgroup of the marching band, and performs at all home basketball (men's and women's) and volleyball games. Both bands are under the direction of Dr. Clay Redfield.
"Fight, Hornet, Fight!" is the official fight song of California State University, Sacramento. It is most widely known for being played by the Sacramento State Marching Band after scores at Sacramento State football games, and during the band's pre-game and halftime shows. It is played after a touchdown, field goal, extra point, or a safety.
Fight, Hornet, Fight! is also played as the band forms a tunnel for the football team as they enter Hornet Stadium before the beginning of each home game. After every Hornet win, the football team comes over to the sideline where the band's section is and sings along while the song is being played.
Fight, Hornet, Fight! was composed by Don McDonald, '52, in 1949. The current arrangement of the song was written by former Band Director Jeffrey Edom in 1997.
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