The rivalry between two small schools in Upstate New York is the best in America. The 'Cortaca' game occurs annually between the State University of New York at Cortland and neighboring Ithaca College. This is why it's the best rivalry in the nation.

1 - Cortaca Grew Out of Friendship

The winner of the game is awarded the Cortaca Jug. The trophy was introduced in 1959 and the colors of both schools were painted on the jug together by two friends - the captains of the rival Cortland and Ithaca football teams. The jug was purchased from a farmer in Homer, a small town near the schools. Now that's just good ol' Americana.

2 - Cortaca is Celebrated Nationwide

Rivalries rarely extend beyond state borders. Cortland and Ithaca alumni gather annually around the country to take in the game. The largest gatherings outside of New York's Finger Lakes occur in Los Angeles and New York City.

3 - The Rivalry is Greater than the 2013 Riot

Cortaca '13 was ulgy. Very ugly and the schools and their students took a large black-eye after drunken revelry turned into rioting on the streets of Cortland.

Refer back to #1 about friendship and sportsmanship.

Note video may be NSFW for language and idiotic collegiate debauchery.

4 - The Fans

We asked Cortaca alumni to reminisce about the 'Jug Game.' Shannon from Rome said,

Cortaca was that one weekend we always looked forward to. We knew no matter what the weather was like, what exams might be coming up or who ended up winning the game - you were always guaranteed to have a good time. For me, having been in a sorority, it was always fun to have our alumni come back and to meet the older girls. Once I graduated I followed tradition and planned road trips back with my girls to meet the new faces of our sorority, and Cortaca was the perfect weekend to make the trip. I have been to NFL, NHL & MLB games and I don't think I have seen a rivalry quite like Cortland vs. Ithaca. Go C-State!


Sarah from Utica sums Cortaca up like this:

Whether you are an Ithaca Bomber or Cortland Red Dragon (GO RED DRAGONS) “Cortaca” has a whole different meaning to you than many others. Known as “the biggest little game in the nation”, early November is the most exciting time of year for current students and even alumni! Before people are even thinking of the actual game- the streets, lawns, and bars are FULL by 8am to tailgate. Many don’t even attend the game, but watch from their apartments or the bars and pubs. Whether you are watching it at Red Jug Pub or Dark Horse Tavern – you better be wearing red and you better be cheering for the Red Dragons as long as you are in Cortland. Unfortunately, Cortaca has gotten a bad name the past few years as riots and fights have taken over the streets due to the amount of partying college students. However, looking past all the parties, you can feel the rivalry in the air and that is what makes it so fun! The rivalry between the Bombers and Red Dragons goes back to the thirties, but the actual “Cortaca Jug” has been awarded since 1959. The atmosphere at the game, bars, parties, apartment and the whole city when your team wins is unexplainable. The party continues on whether your team wins or loses. Most of the city is quiet by 8pm as students, alumni, visitors etc. are ready for bed. I attended 4 as a student at Cortland, 1 as a senior in high school, and 3 as an alumni. It doesn’t get old to many as you meet alumni from 21 to 65+ that are attending the game and parties. The games switch each year from Ithaca to Cortland. 2014 Cortaca Jug will be held in Cortland this year- the 56th year!!! Those football players become the heroes if your team wins “the biggest little game in the nation!”

5 - Because it's Cortaca

Nothing else needs to be said.