MISSOULA, Mont. – The Montana Grizzles hold bragging rights to the inaugural “Brawl of the Wild” rivalry series that took place during the 2013-14 athletic season, featuring in-state rivals University of Montana and Montana State University in a points-based, head-to-head competition in 13 sports.
The Griz bested the Bobcats with a score of 14-3 for the first-ever Brawl of the Wild, which was co-presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana and Town Pump Food Stores, both current partners of UM and MSU Athletics.
“Blue Cross is proud to support the hard work that Grizzly and Bobcat student-athletes put in on the field and in the classroom,” said John Doran, director of public relations at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana. “Cat-Griz is one of the best rivalries in the nation, and it is exciting for us to help take it to the next level.”
The Grizzlies outscored the Bobcats 4-1 in competition this past spring. UM’s women’s and men’s tennis teams led the way, placing first and second in the Big Sky Conference to pick up two points, while MSU finished tied for fifth and tied for third.
Also in the spring sports competition, Montana’s women’s and men’s track team placed second and fourth in the league, compared to MSU’s third and second places finishes, as both teams tallied one point in that sport. The Griz picked up another point by finishing fourth in the conference in golf, while the Cats were sixth.
“Town Pump is thrilled with its sponsorship of the exciting Brawl of the Wild series between the University of Montana and Montana State University,” said Wayne Moser, Town Pump’s director of sales and marketing. “We’re looking forward to the second year of the rivalry series and excited that so many Montanans are taking note of the special competition. Town Pump is proud of its continued involvement in Montana’s premier sports programs.”
The inaugural Brawl of the Wild kicked off last fall, when the teams competed against one another in football, volleyball, and men’s and women’s cross country. At the mid-way point, following seven contests, Montana led 6-2.
Also this past fall, the Griz picked up two points with a 28-14 win in football; earned two more points in home and road victories in volleyball. MSU garnered two points with victories by their men’s and women’s cross country teams. UM had a 4-2 scoring edge in the fall.
In the winter, the Griz and Lady Griz dominated the scoring at 6-0. Montana’s men’s and women’s basketball teams picked up two points each by sweeping MSU. The Grizzlies also picked up a pair of points thanks to the men’s and women’s indoor track teams, which both placed third in the Big Sky meet, while the MSU’s squads both finished seventh.
A point is awarded to the winner of head-to-head contest, or to the school that places higher in the Big Sky Championships, if no head-to-head match-ups occur. If the teams tie in the league championship competition, the point will be split.
The 17 total points that are available are accrued during competition in regular-season events. There were no points awarded for post-season match-ups. Brawl of the Wild will resume next month, with the start of the 2014-15 athletic season.
Spearheading Brawl of the Wild with both universities and the presenting sponsors are Grizzly Sports Properties and Bobcat Sports Properties, the athletic multimedia rights holders for the University of Montana and Montana State University respectively. Both are properties of Learfield Sports, which manages multimedia rights for 99 collegiate properties. Other Learfield Sports’ schools hosting rivalry series include Oklahoma/Oklahoma State (Bedlam Series), Iowa/Iowa State (Cy-Hawk Series) and South Dakota/South Dakota State (Showdown Series). For more, visit www.learfieldsports.com.