In the always-competitive Mid-American Conference, it's very easy to develop a rivalry with any number of league programs.
Western Michigan's primary rivals, however, are in-state programs Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan. The Broncos joined the MAC in 1947 and both the Chippewas and Eagles entered the league in 1971.
Broncos vs. that team from Mount Pleasant
The storied football history between Western Michigan and Central Michigan dates back to the early 1900’s. These archrivals first met in 1907, with Western Michigan posting a 27-0 victory. Entering 2016, the Broncos own a 47-37-2 record against their opponents from the north. WMU is 4-1 against CMU over the last five years.
The two have faced one another for 42 consecutive years, dating back to 1973. Since 1973, the outcome of the game has been decided by 10 points or fewer 23 times, and on 12 occasions by 5 points or less, in addition to one tie (18-18, 1982). The only overtime contest came in 2004, with CMU winning 24-21.
PROXIMITY OF THE SCHOOLS
Western Michigan and Central Michigan are separated by approximately 2.5 hours, roughly 134 miles, with WMU being located in the southwest region of the state in Kalamazoo, Mich., and CMU being located in Mount Pleasant in the middle of Michigan’s lower peninsula, north east of Kalamazoo.
THE TROPHIES AT STAKE
The two compete in the Mid-American Conference, battling each other in the West Division. In addition to conference standings and possible division titles and conference championships on the line, the two fight each year for the “Battle of the Cannon Trophy” and the “Michigan MAC Trophy.”
Battle for the Cannon
The “Battle for the Cannon” trophy was established in 2008 between the student governments at Western Michigan and Central Michigan. Both teams fire off cannons after scores at their respective home games, so it seems natural that a cannon should represent the rivalry.
The Broncos have been in possession of the Cannon Trophy the last two seasons; the trophy resides in a glass case in the lobby of the Bill Brown Football Center, with a clock counting down to the next meeting between the two rivals.
Battle for the Cannon Trophy Recipient
2008 - CMU (38-28)
2009 - CMU (34-23)
2010 - CMU (26-22)
2011 - WMU (44-14)
2012 - WMU (42-31)
2013 - CMU (27-22)
2014 - WMU (32-20)
2015 - WMU (41-39)
Michigan MAC Championship
Each year, the three Michigan Mid-American Conference universities - Western Michigan, Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan compete for the Michigan MAC Trophy during football season and men's basketball season. The trophy is presented to the team with the best record against the other two teams. In the event of a tie the Michigan MAC Trophy remains with the previous holder until one of the other rivals claims the title.
The Michigan MAC Trophy was created in 2005 by the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, with Western Michigan winning it in its inaugural year. A similar trophy is also awarded in the sport of men’s basketball, which CMU currently retains.