I found a mistake in the Rivalry Mode. If you go into the Trophy Room they have the Silver Spade as being played be New Mexico and New Mexico State. I went to play the game and when you're in the "Teams Select" screen it shows that as a Rivalry Game but does not show a trophy. If you scroll through NMSU's opponents it shows the Silver Spade when their opponent is UTEP.
I chose to believe the Trophy Room and played UNM-NMSU and found that there is, in fact, no trphy to be won. So I played NMSU-UTEP as NMSU and lost. Not just lost. I got shut out. 17-0. Good Lord does NMSU's O-line suck. Then I tried to win with UTEP. Nope. I lost on a last second FG, 20-17, after tying up the game with 23 seconds left. Now I pissed off. So I played again as NMSU. Finally scored a touchdown in the 4th quarter after going seven scoreless quarters with their shitty offense. Had the ball 1st and goal on the 9 with 45 seconds left down 14-7, but threw four straight incompletions (shocking). You know that feeling you get sometimes that the game is willing you to lose? I had NMSU's QB fumble the ball *20* yards upfield at one point, which I'd never had happen. Not that he was 20 yards upfield, but he fumbled and the *ball* went 20 yards on the fumble. Another time I completed a 35-yard post pattern and had the WR fumble it back to the other team. I think that had maybe happened one other time that I can remember. I was seriously cursing EA at this point.
Happy ending, I finally won with UTEP, 29-19, after staying up until almost midnight. I figured I needed to try to win anyway since I would have just be laying awake in bed, pissed off at the stupid game. I gotta get a new hobby or something.
Anyway, the moral of the story is to win the Silver Spade it's UTEP-NMSU, NOT UNM-NMSU, at least on the PS2.
I've heard this argument a jillion times and I just don't get it. Let's say you have an eight-team playoff, that leaves a whole ton of teams that would have been in bowl games out in the cold, right? Wrong, let them have the bowl games anyhow.