(FOX40.COM) — This year’s rivalry meeting between the Sacramento State and UC Davis football teams will have playoff implications.

The Sacramento State Hornets and UC Davis Aggies will play each other in the 69th edition of the Causeway Classic at UC Davis Health Stadium this weekend.
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Saturday’s game is slated for a 12 p.m. kickoff at UC Davis Health Stadium.

Here’s what you need to know about this year’s rivalry matchup. 

What is on the line?  

A victory by the Hornets will likely give them a berth in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. An Aggies win could increase their chances of appearing in the postseason and leave both teams awaiting their fate by the NCAA FCS Selection Committee.

The Hornets will go into the rivalry matchup with a 7-3 overall record and a 4-3 mark in the Big Sky Conference. The Aggies enter Saturday’s game at 6-4 overall and 4-4 against conference opponents. 

Sac State is ranked in multiple polls heading into the rivalry matchup. The Hornets are ranked 8th in the Division I Football Championship Committee’s rankings. Sac State is ranked 10th in the FCS Coaches Poll and 8th in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 poll.

UC Davis has received votes in the Stats Perform and Coaches polls. 

The FCS playoff format features 24 teams with 10 automatic qualifiers who have won their respective conferences. The remaining 14 teams are selected by a committee. 

The teams that earn the top eight seeds earn a first-round bye while the next 16 teams are matched up regionally and play the Saturday after Thanksgiving. 

Seven wins in the FCS is typically enough to earn an at-large bid in the playoffs, but that number might not clinch a postseason berth, as 33 teams could reach that win total this weekend. There are currently 13 teams who already have eight wins heading into this weekend’s slate of games. 

Why is it called the Causeway Classic?

The name of the rivalry game refers to the Yolo Causeway, a 3.2-mile elevated highway on Interstate 80 that connects Davis and Sacramento. 

The two teams have played against each other every year since 1954, except in 2020 when the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The rivalry officially became the Causeway Classic in 1983 with former Sacramento State athletics staffer Mike Duncan being credited with creating the moniker. 

History of the rivalry game

Although it is the 69th Causeway Classic, it will be the 70th all-time matchup between the two schools. The extra matchup was a Division II playoff game, which Sac State won 35-13 in 1988. 

UC Davis holds the all-time advantage in the rivalry with a 46-23 record with the Aggies being 24-11 at home. 

Recent history is on Sac State’s side with the Hornets winning the past three games and four of the last five contests. 

The last Aggies victory was a 56-13 win over the Hornets in 2018, which was played in Reno due to unhealthy air quality as a result of the Camp Fire. 

The Hornets edged the Aggies in last year’s game, wining 27-21 at Hornet Stadium. Sac State defeated UC Davis 27-7 in the 2021 contest in Davis and the Hornets won the 2019 game 27-17 at home.