This year’s game on Nov. 21 in Cheney is shaping up to be a thriller, with Eastern currently ranking 11th in FCS and unbeaten Portland State sitting at 17th and atop the Big Sky standings
The Dam Cup is becoming a winner-take-all trophy.
The winner of the annual Eastern Washington versus Portland State football game will now be the only deciding factor in awarding The Dam Cup, which enters its sixth year of existence this fall.
Previously, the trophy was presented to the school which accumulated the most points among competitions that included football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, volleyball and soccer. Portland State has won three of the five titles, but EWU is the defending champion after winning in the 2014-15 school year.
Eastern athletic director Bill Chaves said the growth of the Big Sky Conference has resulted in EWU not playing PSU consistently in all sports, and not always with equitable home games. However, each school has two regional rivals they play annually in football, so making The Dam Cup a football-only trophy made logical sense.
“With each sport now playing different schedules than in the past, the one thing that we can count on annually is Eastern playing PSU in football,” said Chaves. “So transitioning the Dam Cup to the winner of that contest makes most sense today.”
This year’s Eagle-Viking matchup will take place on Nov. 21, 2015, at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash., and will be televised live regionally in the Inland Northwest by SWX. Eastern, ranked 11th in this week’s NCAA Football Championship Subdivision rankings, is currently 1-2 and coming off a 55-50 non-conference victory over fellow Big Sky Conference preseason favorite Montana State.
Portland State is 2-0 and ranked 17th in this week’s STATS FCS Top 25 poll. The Vikings opened the season with a 24-17 win at Washington State of the Pac-12 Conference, then beat Idaho State 34-14 in their league opener. Portland State is coached by Bruce Barnum, a former football player and graduate of EWU.
More About the Dam Cup . . .
The Eastern Washington Eagles and Portland State Vikings began a five sport rivalry cup called The Dam Cup in 2010-11. The Dam Cup celebrates the friendly rivalry between the states of Oregon and Washington within the Big Sky Conference.
The so-named rivalry refers to the four dams linking Oregon and Washington that one passes on the 339-mile drive from the Portland State campus to the Eastern Washington campus. Located along the Columbia River, they are Bonneville Dam, The Dalles Dam, The John Day Dam and the McNary Dam.
Until 2015-16, the five sports competing for the cup were football, women's soccer, women's volleyball, women's basketball and men's basketball. The purpose of the Dam Cup is to create a rivalry between Portland State University and Eastern Washington University and provide a sense of pride between alumni in the Portland and Spokane areas. Other goals include increasing attendance at events between both schools and building school spirit among each institutions' student body.
The winner of the Dam Cup will possess The Dam Trophy acknowledging the achievement for the following year.
Until the 2015-16 school year, the Dam Cup was based on a point system. Each game played in the five sports between the two schools had a point value. Points are only rewarded for regular season contests.
Eastern is the defending Dam Cup champion, and also won in the 2012-13 school year. Portland State won The Dam Cup in the 2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2013-14 seasons. The Eagles have won four of the football games in the five-year existence of the award.