Central Michigan-Eastern Michigan Football Rivalry
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Central Michigan%E2%80%93Eastern Michigan Football Rivalry
First meetingNovember 1, 1902
Central Michigan, 10-0
Latest meetingNovember 27, 2020
Central Michigan, 31-23
Next meeting2021
Meetings total98
All-time seriesCMU leads 62-30-6[1]
Largest victoryEMU 63-0 (1917)
Longest win streakCMU, 8 (1937-1947)
Current win streakCMU, 2 (2019-present)
Locations of Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan

The Central Michigan-Eastern Michigan football rivalry is an annual college football game between Central Michigan University (CMU) and Eastern Michigan University (EMU). The football series between the two universities dates back to 1902 and is the oldest rivalry in the Mid-American Conference (MAC), having begun five years before the Central Michigan-Western Michigan rivalry and six years before the Miami-Ohio rivalry. With 95 games having been played, it is also the most frequently-played series between MAC schools.[2]

Michigan State Normal, as EMU was then known, dominated the series in the first 25 meetings, compiling a record of 14-8-3 from 1902 to 1936. The tide then shifted to CMU which compiled a 37-5-3 from 1937 to 1992. From 1993 to 2020, CMU has won 17 games to 11 for EMU.


Early years: 1902-1939

The first game in the rivalry series was played on November 1, 1902, at Ypsilanti, Michigan. Central Michigan, under coach Charles Tambling, won the game by a 10-0 score.[3]

Eastern Michigan, then known as the Michigan State Normal School, achieved its first victory in the series on November 16, 1907. The Ypsilanti team won the game by a score of 38-0. The game was played starting at 9:30 a.m. to allow both teams to attend the Michigan-Michigan Agricultural football game in Ann Arbor.[4]

On October 20, 1917, Michigan State Normal defeated Central by a score of 63 to 0 - the largest margin of victory by either school in the rivalry's long history. The Detroit Free Press reported: "Mt. Pleasant failed to make a first down and gained only about 15 yards in the entire game, their team being light and lacking experience."[5]

From 1925 to 1930, Michigan State Normal compiled a 40-4-2 record under head coach Elton Rynearson. Rynearson's teams won five consecutive games against Central during this period, outscoring Central by a total of 119 to 0. Michigan State Normal dominated the series in the first 25 meetings, compiling a record of 14-8-3 from 1902 to 1936.

Middle years: 1937-1992

From 1937 to 1992, the tide shifted heavily in Central Michigan's favor. During that period, Central compiled 37-5-3 record against Eastern Michigan.

In November 1963, the teams terminated the rivalry due to Eastern Michigan's affiliation with the Presidents' Athletic Conference. At the time, the Detroit Free Press called it an "honored . . . rivalry" and "one of Michigan's all-time great collegiate football series."[6] Central Michigan won the 1963 game by a 55-20, leading the UPI to report: "A rivalry that began in 1902 ended somewhat inauspiciously . . ."[7]

After the longest break in the rivalry's history, lasting from 1964 to 1971, the teams met in October 1972 at the new Perry Shorts Stadium in Mount Pleasant. The 1972 match was also the 50th gridiron game between the two schools.[8] Eastern defeated Central, 28-3, as Houston Booth threw three touchdown passes and George Duranko had a 100-yard interception return.[9]

In 1972, Central Michigan won the NCAA Division II championship and defeated Eastern by a score of 28-13. In 1979, Central Michigan won the Mid-America Conference championship, compiled an undefeated record, and defeated Eastern by a 37-14 score.

Modern era: 1992-present

From 1993 to 2017, the rivalry again became competitive. During that time, Central Michigan won 15 games to 10 for Eastern Michigan. Central Michigan coach Brian Kelly noted in 2005: "I think the rivalry's when two teams are very competitive. It wasn't much of a rivalry because I think Central had beaten Eastern for a number of years. Now Eastern obviously holds the upper hand . . . It creates a real rivalry situation . . . "[10]

In 1995, Charlie Batch, who went on to play in the NFL from 1998 to 2012, ran for three touchdowns and passed for 385 yards to lead Eastern Michigan to a 34-24 victory over Central Michigan.[11]

In 1996, Central Michigan came back from a 27-10 deficit in the second half to win by a 41-36 score. CMU receiver set a school record with 14 receptions for 241 yards.[12]

In 1997, Charlie Batch, playing in his final year of college football, threw three touchdown passes and ran for the winning touchdown as Eastern Michigan defeated Central Michigan, 31-24.[13]

In 2002, Central Michigan's Robbie Mixon broke the MAC single-game record with 377 rushing yards in a 47-21 victory over Eastern Michigan.[14]

In 2004, the teams played at Ford Field in Detroit. In the highest scoring game in the rivalry's history, Eastern Michigan defeated Brian Kelly's Central team by a 61-58 score in five-hour, quadruple overtime game.[15]

In 2005, the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame created the Michigan MAC Trophy awarded annually to the team with the best head-to-head record among Michigan's three Mid-American Conference programs - Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Western Michigan University. Since its inception, Central Michigan has won the Michigan MAC Trophy five times, and Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan have each won it four times.

Days before the 2008 game, Eastern Michigan's head coach Jeff Genyk was fired. During pregame warmups, Central's coach Butch Jones approached one of the Eastern coaches to say "'I know you guys are out of a job and I'm not going to help you' with a few expletives thrown in there."[16] Jones' comments inspired the Eastern players who scored 42 points in the first half and won the game by a 56-52 score. Eastern's quarterback Andy Schmitt also broke Drew Brees' NCAA Division I-A record with 58 pass completions in the game. Genyk credited his team's performance to "the emotion of the rivalry."[16]

In 2011, Ryan Radcliff led Central to two touchdowns and a two-point conversion in the last five-and-a-half minutes to tie the score at 28-28. Eastern Michigan then scored a touchdown with 37 seconds remaining to secure the win. After the game, Eastern coach Ron English said: "The one thing about rivalry games is you have to be able to win them in the end. There are tremendous highs and tremendous lows, but what happens is both sides usually keep playing because it means so much to everybody."[17]

Game results

Central Michigan victoriesEastern Michigan victoriesTie games
11902Mount PleasantCentral Michigan10-0
21905Mount PleasantCentral Michigan13-0
31907YpsilantiMichigan State Normal38-0
41908Mount PleasantCentral Michigan11-0
51909YpsilantiMichigan State Normal17-0
61910Mount PleasantCentral Michigan13-0
71912Mount PleasantTie0-0
81917YpsilantiMichigan State Normal63-0
91919Mount PleasantTie7-7
101920YpsilantiMichigan State Normal7-6
111921Mount PleasantMichigan State Normal7-6
131923Mount PleasantCentral Michigan27-3
141924YpsilantiCentral Michigan13-0
151926Mount PleasantMichigan State Normal41-0
161927Mount PleasantMichigan State Normal6-0
171928Mount PleasantMichigan State Normal36-0
181929YpsilantiMichigan State Normal24-0
191930Mount PleasantMichigan State Normal13-0
201931YpsilantiCentral State 20-12
211932Mount PleasantMichigan State Normal28-0
221933YpsilantiMichigan State Normal13-7
231934Mount PleasantCentral State 13-12
241935YpsilantiMichigan State Normal7-0
251936Mount PleasantMichigan State Normal13-7
261937YpsilantiCentral Michigan27-10
271938Mount PleasantCentral Michigan7-6
281939YpsilantiCentral Michigan14-0
291940Mount PleasantCentral Michigan24-0
301941YpsilantiCentral Michigan12-6
311942Mount PleasantCentral Michigan14-0
321946YpsilantiCentral Michigan26-13
331947Mount PleasantCentral Michigan33-0
341948YpsilantiMichigan State Normal6-0
351949Mount PleasantCentral Michigan18-7
361950YpsilantiCentral Michigan26-7
371951YpsilantiCentral Michigan19-13
381952Mount PleasantCentral Michigan26-7
401954Mount PleasantCentral Michigan28-7
411955YpsilantiCentral Michigan27-20
421956Mount PleasantCentral Michigan19-0
431957YpsilantiEastern Michigan39-6
441958Mount PleasantCentral Michigan7-6
451959YpsilantiCentral Michigan21-8
461960Mount PleasantCentral Michigan28-0
471961YpsilantiCentral Michigan13-11
481962Mount PleasantCentral Michigan24-0
491963YpsilantiCentral Michigan55-20
501972Mount PleasantEastern Michigan28-3
511973Mount PleasantCentral Michigan31-21
521974YpsilantiCentral Michigan28-13
531975Mount PleasantCentral Michigan20-7
541976YpsilantiEastern Michigan30-27
551977Mount PleasantCentral Michigan9-3
561978YpsilantiCentral Michigan41-9
571979Mount PleasantCentral Michigan37-14
581980YpsilantiCentral Michigan51-15
591981Mount PleasantCentral Michigan63-14
601982YpsilantiCentral Michigan13-8
611983Mount PleasantCentral Michigan24-3
631985Mount PleasantCentral Michigan17-10
641986YpsilantiEastern Michigan34-16
651987Mount PleasantCentral Michigan16-6
661988YpsilantiCentral Michigan20-6
671989Mount PleasantCentral Michigan24-9
681990YpsilantiCentral Michigan16-12
701992Mount PleasantCentral Michigan30-13
711993Mount PleasantEastern Michigan28-21
721994YpsilantiCentral Michigan30-29
731995YpsilantiEastern Michigan34-24
741996Mount PleasantCentral Michigan41-36
751997Mount PleasantEastern Michigan31-24
761998YpsilantiCentral Michigan36-23
771999Mount PleasantCentral Michigan29-26
782000YpsilantiEastern Michigan31-15
792001Mount PleasantCentral Michigan35-30
802002YpsilantiCentral Michigan47-21
812003Mount PleasantCentral Michigan38-10
822004DetroitEastern Michigan61-58
832005Mount PleasantEastern Michigan23-20
842006YpsilantiCentral Michigan24-17
852007Mount PleasantEastern Michigan48-45
862008YpsilantiEastern Michigan56-52
872009Mount PleasantCentral Michigan56-8
882010YpsilantiCentral Michigan52-14
892011Mount PleasantEastern Michigan35-28
902012YpsilantiCentral Michigan34-31
912013Mount PleasantCentral Michigan42-10
922014YpsilantiCentral Michigan38-7
932015Mount PleasantCentral Michigan35-28
942016YpsilantiEastern Michigan26-21
952017Mount PleasantCentral Michigan42-30
962018YpsilantiEastern Michigan17-7
972019Mount PleasantCentral Michigan42-16
982020YpsilantiCentral Michigan31-23
Series: Central Michigan leads 62-30-6[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Winsipedia - Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Eastern Michigan Eagles football series history". Winsipedia.
  2. ^ Through the 2018 season, the most frequently played series between MAC schools are Central Michigan-Eastern Michigan (96 games), Miami-Ohio (95 games), and Central Michigan-Western Michigan (89 games).
  3. ^ "Mt. Pleasant's Line Too Strong". Detroit Free Press. November 2, 1902. p. 9 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "Trounce Central Normal: Ypsilanti Collegians Win by Score of 38 to 0". Detroit Free Press. November 17, 1907. p. 20 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ "Ypsilanti Has Easy Victory: Michigan State Normal College Rolls Up 63 to 0 Score on Its Ancient Rival". Detroit Free Press. October 21, 1917. p. 22.
  6. ^ "Chips, EMU End Series". Detroit Free Press. November 2, 1963. p. 3C – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "Central Michigan Routs EMU, 55-20". Battle Creek Enquirer and News. November 3, 1963. pp. 4-1 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "It's EMU vs. Central In State Grid Windup". Detroit Free Press. November 18, 1972. p. 3D – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ "2 TD Pass 'Bombs' Ignite the Hurons, 28-3". Detroit Free Press. November 19, 1972. p. 2E – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ "Eastern at Central". Detroit Free Press. September 20, 2005. p. 8E – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ "Batch lifts EMU, 34-24". Detroit Free Press. October 8, 1995. p. 8C – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "CMU, down 27-10, turns back EMU, 41-36". The Detroit News. October 20, 1996. p. 4D – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ "Eastern Michigan rallies for 31-24 win over CMU". Detroit Free Press. September 28, 1997. p. 2C – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ "Central's Mixon runs over Eastern". Detroit Free Press. November 3, 2002. p. 8C – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ "EMU wins thriller: Eagles go four OTs to top Chippewas, complete rare sweep of instate rivals". Detroit Free Press. November 7, 2004. pp. 1D, 3D – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ a b Mark Snyder (November 29, 2008). "Schmitt sets NCAA completion record: Eagles upset Chippewas in Genyk's last game at Eastern Michigan". Detroit Free Press. p. 8B – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "Eastern Michigan scores in final minute, wins 35-28 at Central Michigan". The Ann Arbor News. October 15, 2011.

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