– The Toledo Rockets may not be as famous as the local minor league baseball team, the Toledo Mudhens, but there is some history in northeastern Ohio. Toledo owns the second longest winning streak in Division 1-A history, posting 35 consecutive wins from 1969-71, with the Rockets going undefeated all three years.  Toledo was invited to three consecutive Tangerine Bowls, winning over Davidson, William and Mary, and Richmond. The only Division 1-A streak longer than that of Toledo’s was Oklahoma’s 47 game winning streak from 1953-57.

 – Gary Pinkel, the Missouri Tigers head coach, was first a record-setter at Toledo. Pinkel, who coached the Rockets from1991-2000, set school records for seasons coached (10) and victories (73). In 1995, Toledo went 11-0-1, finishing 24th in the nation; while the 10-1 2000 team finished with a #25 ranking.

 – Toledo doesn’t play all that many games against BCS conference opponents, but when they have, they have been successful, beating Pittsburgh (35-31 in 2003), Kansas (37-31 in 2006), Iowa State (36-35 in 2007), and Michigan (13-10 in 2008). The win over the Wolverines represented the first loss by a Michigan team to a Mid-American Conference team – ever.

 – Toledo’s home stadium is known as the Glass Bowl. Built in 1937 as a depression-era Works Project Administration project, the stadium is considered the best in the MAC. The name of the stadium is in honor to the local companies who donated the glass for the stadium’s towers and press box. Though the stated capacity is 26,248, the stadium record is 36,852, who crammed into the Glass Bowl for a game against Navy in 2001 (a 21-20 win).

 – For those of going to the Glass Bowl for the CU/Toledo game, we had better be prepared for cannon fire. Just like with the CSU Rams, a cannon is fired every time the home team scores. “Rocky the Rocket” patrols the sidelines, outfitted in a blue-and-gold rocket-man costume, complete with jet pack and helmet.

 – The “Rockets” nickname has a inglorious story behind it. In 1923, Carnegie Tech came to Toledo to play the home team. Pressed by a Pittsburgh sportswriter for a nickname, James Neal, a Toledo student in the press box, labeled the team the “Skyrockets”, in hopes of a high-flying performance against the Techsters. The sportswriter shortened the name to Rockets, and the name has been used ever since (BTW, the high-flying Rockets lost that game to Carnegie Tech, 32-12).

 – Toledo itself has an interesting history. In the 1830’s, both Michigan and Ohio claimed jurisdiction over a 468-mile region known as the “Toledo Strip”. As a compromise, the “Toledo War” was settled when the strip was ceded by Michigan. In exchange, Michigan was granted statehood, and was given the Upper Peninsula, which to that time was considered part of the Wisconsin Territory.

 – Famous alumni – football.  Mel Long (All-American, 1971); Chester Taylor (Baltimore, Minnesota; 2002-08); Bruce Gradkowski (Oakland, 2006-08)

 – Famous alumni – other. Kari Ronn, inventor of the Swiffer (seriously, that’s about it).

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