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The Toledo Rockets are the athletic teams that represent the University of Toledo. The Rockets are a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision team in the National Collegiate Athletic Association and play in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). The school's colors are midnight blue and gold.
Toledo's principal rivals are the Falcons of Bowling Green State University. The two teams play for a trophy each year known as the Peace Pipe, a prize that originated in basketball but progressed to football in 1980. The University of Toledo holds the edge in the rivalry (17-15) and has won four straight. This rivalry is sometimes known as "The Battle for I-75" because the cities of Toledo and Bowling Green are located just off Interstate 75 and only 20 miles separate the two campuses. When The University of Toledo played the then-powerful Carnegie Institute of Technology in football on September 29, 1923, Pittsburgh sports writers were surprised to learn that UT did not have a nickname. Though an underdog, Toledo fought formidably, recovering a series of embarrassing fumbles by favored Tech. Pittsburgh writers pressed James E. Neal (1904–1983), a UT junior pharmacy student and writer for The Campus Collegian who was working in the press box, to come up with a nickname for his school's team. Despite UT's 32-12 loss, the student labeled the team "Skyrockets," obviously impressed by his alma mater's flashy performance against a superior team. William B. Hook, who started as an unknown substitute guard and ended a hero, grabbed a Carnegie fumble out of the air and raced 99 yards for a touchdown. A sportswriters remarked that Hook looked more like a rocket than a skyrocket as Carnegie Tech players failed to overtake him. Other writers began using the name "Rockets" with quotation marks in their stories, but after one week the quotation marks were dropped and The University of Toledo's nickname remained the Rockets.