Middle Tennessee Director of Athletics Chris Massaro announced the intention of playing a home-and-home football series against former Sun Belt Conference rival Troy during the 2020 season during today's fall sports update webinar via zoom.
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Massaro said contracts have not been signed and no dates or times have been set in stone; however, both schools have verbally announced their intent to rekindle the rivalry in this unique home-and-home series.
The initial plan would be for Troy to play at Middle Tennessee in the season opener either Sept. 5 or on Sept. 19, with the Blue Raiders playing in Troy, Ala., Nov. 21.
Middle Tennessee lost three non-conference foes when the ACC announced a conference-only schedule eliminating Duke and Virginia Tech from the Blue Raiders' slate, while UConn recently announced it would not play football in 2020.
"We had anticipated this scenario," Massaro said. "Given that, we are announcing our intent to play Troy. No contracts have been signed but our intent is for Troy to play in Murfreesboro either Sept. 5 or Sept. 19 with us visiting Troy Nov. 21. It is unique to play one opponent twice in a season but this worked for both of us. This scenario also allows us to keep future schedules intact with no changes."
Middle Tennessee and Troy were Sun Belt Conference rivals with the game annually billed as "The Battle for the Palladium." The first meeting was in 1936 but The Battle for the Palladium began in 2003.
The Palladium currently resides in Murfreesboro after the Blue Raiders defeated Troy 24-21 in the last meeting in 2012. ESPN ranked the rivalry game as one of the Top 5 non-BCS games in 2008.
"There is a lot of history with Middle Tennessee and Troy and we are excited to rekindle this rivalry," Massaro said. "Troy is always a quality opponent. There is tremendous pride in having the Palladium reside in Murfreesboro."
Massaro also pointed out the home-and-home series helps financially as each team will not have to pay the other a guarantee and since it will be a bus trip it will be a less expensive trip for both teams.
Middle Tennessee leads the all-time series, 12-8, with the first meeting taking place in 1936 and the last in 2012.
More details regarding set dates and times will be released as they become available.