UA and Kent State rivalry renewed on video days before big football game


As the archrivals prepare to clash on the football field, The University of Akron and Kent State University have once again collaborated to reveal another reason behind the rivalry between the schools and their mascots, Zippy and Flash.

Before the schools’ basketball teams squared off last winter, videos explaining a ‘love story ending in heartbreak’ between UA’s beloved kangaroo and Kent State’s celebrated golden eagle went viral and received more than 150,000 views.

“I grew up in Kent, so the rivalry has always been on my mind,” says Meghan Meeker, social media specialist at UA and creator of the romance-rivalry idea.

Meeker has again partnered with Nicole Losi, director of social media at Kent State, to develop another chapter of Zippy and Flash’s rivalry origin story. The creative teams at both universities are using humor to encourage camaraderie while feeding the flames of the rivalry.

In the latest rivalry videos, the conflict between UA and Kent State is traced back even further, to the founding of each school. Of course, once again, there are two sides to the story.



The videos, set in the year 1867, show that neither mascot has the other’s best interests in mind as they attempt to found a college together. The result is the theft of a wagon wheel and the foundation of two separate universities. 

The videos are a spoof on the legend of the “Wagon Wheel.” When John R. Buchtel set out to establish a college, he reached the current site of Kent State. But his wagon became stuck in the mud and lost a wheel. Deciding this was no place for a university, Buchtel went on to found UA instead. The wheel was allegedly uncovered in 1902. 

Since the 1940s, the artifact has been used as a trophy awarded to the winner of the University of Akron-Kent State football game. The two schools have always encouraged the friendly rivalry over the wheel.


Media contact: Dan Minnich, 330-972-6476 or