Of all the weird names for college football games (or for that matter of any sport’s games) the coveted Battle of the Milk Can has to be without a doubt the most bizarre name in existence. In this annual rivalry game played between Boise State University (BSU) and Fresno State University, male warrior teams face off in an epic battle to determine who will have the privilege of hoisting the Milk Can Trophy.
Individuals unfamiliar with the idea of playing a football game for something called the Milk Can Trophy would probably guess that the origins of the name must be rooted in ancient terminology native to the area. Much to the surprise of people who inquire about the Battle of the Milk Jar limited story is the fact that the unique title began way back in 2005. Perhaps something as preposterous as a battle over a milk jar shouldn’t come as a complete surprise coming from two universities named after non-existent states. When you list the fifty states in the union, neither the state of Boise nor the state of Fresno comes up.
It should come as no surprise that the dairy farmers are behind the Milk Can Trophy naming. The Fresno State Bulldogs are located in Fresno, California while the Boise State Broncos are located in Boise, Idaho. California and Idaho happen to be two of the top five dairy-producing states in America at number one and four, respectively. The Bronco Dairy Boosters give money to Boise State and at the same time another dairy organization called the South Valley Dairy Group gives money to Fresno State. The two men responsible for the unforgettable game title Battle of the Milk Can are Roger Fluegel and Dan Van Grouw who have ties to both the schools and the previously mentioned dairy funded booster programs.
In what might surprise outsiders, the idea for a Milk Can Trophy game was an instant hit with fans and the football programs themselves. Unfortunately due to administrative problems the inaugural trophy was not ready in time to be awarded to the winner of the 2005 contest (Fresno won 27-7). Each year the winner of the big game has the privilege of keeping the trophy for one year and has the distinct honor of having their team’s victory engraved on the trophy for posterity. After five seasons, the Boise State Broncos are now up by three wins after winning their last four games since losing the opening game.