Where it Stands in History
The DePauw-Wabash rivalry was touted for years as the oldest continuous rivalry west of the Alleghenies, but in fact it is not. The oldest rivalry west of the eastern U.S. mountain range is the University of Cincinnati-Miami (O.) University series which began in 1888. The oldest uninterrupted series west of the Alleghenies is between Kansas and Nebraska which have met without fail since 1906. The DePauw-Wabash rivalry is the sixth most-played Division III rivalry and equals the 12th-most played in college football.
Weight of the Bell
Despite some reports that the Monon Bell weighs anywhere from 200 to 400 pounds, the actual weight of the trophy is approximately 300 pounds.
Throw out the Records?
It’s often said that the records of the teams entering the game can be disregarded in trying to predict a winner. Since 1924, DePauw and Wabash have squared off in each team’s final game 87 times. The team with the better winning percentage entering the game has a 51-30-6 record for a .621 winning percentage.
In years where one teams winning percentage is at least .500 better than the opponent, the team with the higher winning percentage has posted an 9-2-1 record (.792). When Wabash has entered with a winning percentage at least .500 higher than DePauw’s, the Little Giants are 9-1-1 (.864).
Monon Bell Record
Since the Monon Bell was introduced into the series in 1932, Wabash leads 39-37-6.
Turnovers are a Bell Win Factor
In the last 30 meetings, when there was a difference in the number of turnovers between the two teams, the team with fewer turnovers has posted a 21-2 record. DePauw held a +1 turnover advantage in 2005 and 2013, but Wabash won, 17-14, and 38-21, respectively.
Home Field Advantage
In the 114 games played on either of the two campuses, the home team has a 54-52-8 record.
Even though the overall series is close, there have been stretches where one team has dominated the other. In the early 1920s Wabash won seven straight, including the first six via shutout. The Little Giants later won six straight from 1949 to 1954. The Tigers then won eight of the next 10, but kept possession of the Bell for 10 years because of two ties. In fact from 1955 to 1975, Wabash only beat the Tigers four times. The Tigers won only twice from 1976 to 1986, but then won four straight from 1987-90. Wabash held the bell from 1991-95, but DePauw won five straight from 1996-2000. Wabash then won three straight from 2001-03 and five in a row from 2009-13.
The longtime rule has been that the team in possession of the bell entering the game retains possession in the case of the tie. Early rules indicated that the schools shared possession (each keeping it six months) following a tie. The first Monon Bell game in 1932 ended in a 0-0 tie, but since neither team had possession, it remained in hiding for the entire year. The introduction of overtime to NCAA football
The DePauw-Wabash rivalry has had its share of great games many of which weren’t decided until the closing moments. In fact 22 of the last 41 games have been decided by eight or fewer points. Included here are some of those great finishes:
2007: Trailing 21-13, the Tigers tied the contest with 3:37 left on a touchdown and two-point conversion before backup kicker Jordan Havercamp won the game with a 47-yard field goal as time expired. The field goal was his first attempt of the season.
2001: The Tigers tie the game at 21-21 with 14 seconds left, but Wabash wins, 27-21, on a 52-yard pass play from Jake Knott to Kurt Casper on a ball that was tipped by the Little Giants' Ryan Short.
2000: The Tigers score 18 points in the final 6:51 to claim a 27-17 victory in Crawfordsville.
1997: DePauw builds a 14-0 lead in the fourth, but Wabash scores to cut the lead in half and is in possession of the ball as time expired with DePauw winning 14-7.
1994: The Tigers trailed 28-6 at halftime, but battled back to within four before falling, 28-24. The game, televised nationally by ESPN2, opened with each team returning a kickoff for a touchdown.
1992: Wabash’s Alex Costa kicked a 25-yard field goal with nine seconds left to tie the score at 17.
1986: The Tigers ran out of timeouts and couldn’t get the field goal unit on the field in time and lost 24-23.
1983: DePauw freshman Eric Rawe batted down a Wabash pass in the end zone as time expired to preserve a 16-10 win.
1974: DePauw won 15-12 after a Wabash receiver dropped a pass in the end zone with 18 seconds left.
1973: DePauw won 28-21 after intercepting a Wabash pass on the DePauw 19 with 3:40 left.
1970: DePauw won 14-13 as a Wabash pass is intercepted on the DePauw 20 as time expired.
1966: DePauw’s Tim Feemster kicked a 22-yard field goal in the final 28 seconds for a 9-7 DePauw win.
1964: Wabash failed on a two-point conversion in the final minutes and DePauw won, 22-21.
1955: Fred Williams booted an 18-yard field goal as time expired to give the Tigers a 23-20 win.
1940: Wabash right halfback Gray plunged in from the four-yard line on fourth down in the last four minutes of the game to give the Little Giants a 17-13 win.
1927: Wabash scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter for a 13-7 win.
1926: Wabash fullback Stew Meyers scored on a run from the six-yard line with two minutes left following a DePauw fumble to give Wabash a 6-0 win.
1920: DePauw quarterback “Galloping” Galloway booted a 52-yard drop kick with three minutes left to give DePauw a 3-0 win at Indianapolis’ Washington Park.
1914: During a snowstorm, DePauw fullback Rowan drop-kicks a goal in the last quarter for the 3-0 win.