Men of a certain age are prone to unusual decisions — say, buying a sporty new car or wearing an unusual hat. But it's not age that explains why older BG football players consider Miami, not Toledo, to be the Falcons' arch-rivals. It's history.
Bowling Green dominated the MAC in the early part of the 1960s, winning five titles from 1959-65. But after the run of the unbeatable Rockets from 1969-71, Miami dominated the MAC in the '70s, winning four league crowns from 1973-77. The all-time winningest team in league play? Miami. Most MAC titles? Miami again.
What's worse, Miami dominated BG in those days, winning eight straight from 1973-80. In fact, only one MAC team has a winning record against the Falcons: You guessed it, the RedHawks. And it's more than just beating BG: Players of that era talk about the "Miami Whammy," a saying that was created when a string of illogical and incredible efforts allowed the team that was at that time called the Redskins to claim victories against the Falcons.
But Saturday's game needs no rivalry and no nickname to gain significance. BG can't afford a second league loss, especially to an East Division rival. A loss to "That Team Down South" likely would force the Falcons to pull a rabbit out of their hat to win a division title.