Saturday, November 27

Ranking of the top 10 college football rivalry trophies, from Iron Skillet to Old Brass Spittoon



Everybody loves a good trophy, right? Sure, a national championship trophy is fine and all, but why should only the national champion lift some hardware at the end of the game or at the end of the season?

Fortunately, being college football, cooler minds prevailed and fans of the sport have received a host of trophies in rivalry games, both old and new, but many are as iconic and meaningful as any other trophy at stake.

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And even schools without rivalry trophies (ahem, UCF and UConn) tried to get it and create your own even if they didn’t always realize it.

Many of the rivalry trophies are pretty basic and feature many of the same motifs and aesthetics – they either look like a trophy, they have a soccer ball, they are a mug or jug ​​of some sort, or they are just plain.

But every now and then, a trophy appears that has a great story behind it, is visually stunning, or has some other rule-breaking feature.

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One of them, the Golden Egg, will be on the line Thursday when No. 9 Ole Miss travels to Starkville to face Missisippi State in the annual Egg Bowl. The Rebels won last year’s game and have a 63-46-6 series lead.

And while this week is rivalry week in college football, not all the best rivalries have a trophy (The Game, The Iron Bowl), nor are all the best trophies awarded during rivalry week.

With that, here’s an introduction to some of the best trophies in the sport, in no particular order, and how they came to be.

1. Iron skillet – SMU vs. TCU

  • First prize: 1946
  • Most recent winner: September 28, 2021: SMU 42, TCU 31
  • History of the series: TCU leads 51-42-7

This is a rivalry between two Texas schools that has existed since 1915 and has had 100 meetings, but the award of the Trophy, a literal iron skillet, dates back to 1946. Like several trophies on this list, the origin story varies.

One account He said it was started to “prevent the mutilation of school property” by loud fanatics and that the frying pan served as a substitute for vandalism. Another lore account indicates that an SMU fan was frying frog legs before the game as a joke and an offended TCU fan thought that the outcome of the game should determine who got the frying pan and the frog legs.

This year’s battle was not without controversy, as then-TCU coach Gary Patterson brought several indictments against SMU, only to resign a month later. SMU Coach Sonny dykes rumored to be the favorite to replace Patterson.

2. Floyd of Rosedale – Iowa vs. Minnesota

  • First prize: 1935
  • Most recent winner: November 13, 2021 – Iowa 27, Minnesota 22
  • History of the series: Minnesota leads 62-51-2

A 1934 contest between the Golden Gophers and Hawkeyes heated up when Iowa running back Ozzie Simmons, one of the few black players in the country at the time, felt he was subject to late hits and had to leave the game. three times due to injuries.

The following year, when the two schools clashed, the Iowa governor got involved, saying that if Minnesota players or officials treated Simmons the same way they did in the past, the crowd would not tolerate it.

So, to ease tensions, the Minnesota governor sent a telegram betting a jackpot that the Gophers would win the game and the Iowa governor accepted. The trophy’s name comes from Floyd Olson, then governor of Minnesota and Rosedale Farms, where Olson got the pig.

3. Golden Egg – State of Mississippi vs. Ole Miss

  • First prize: 1927
  • Most recent winner: November 28, 2020 – Ole Miss 31, Mississippi State 24
  • History of the series: Ole Miss leads 63-46-6

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Another case of trying to curb vandalism, the rivalry was not actually named “The Egg Bowl.” until 1979 when a Mississppi sportswriter, Tom Patterson, dubbed him that. Before that, it was the Battle for the Golden Egg, which earned its namesake from the trophy being awarded.

In 1926, Ole Miss snapped a 13-game losing streak in rivalry, defeating Mississippi State 7-6 at Starkville. As a result , Ole Miss fans stormed onto the field, attempted to knock down the goal posts, and fights broke out, leading to the creation of the Golden Egg as a means of preventing similar incidents in the future.

Although not actually golden, the egg is a piece of brass shaped like a soccer ball more similar to the balls that were used at the time than the ones in use today, so it looks more like an egg than an a soccer ball.

4. Jeweled Shillelagh – Notre Dame vs. USC

  • First prize: 1952
  • Most recent winner: October 23, 2021 – Notre Dame 31, USC 16
  • History of the series: Notre Dame leads. 48-36-5

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The rivalry between these two schools actually began in 1926, but in 1952, the Notre Dame Alumni Club in Los Angeles decided to commemorate the series up to that point and commissioned the presentation of a jeweled shillelagh, a former Gaelic war club.

At that time, it was said that Shillelagh was destined to “They symbolize in part the high tradition, the acute rivalry and above all the sincere respect that these two great universities have for each other.” The shillelagh features ruby-adorned Trojan heads for USC victories and emerald-embellished clovers for Notre Dame victories.

The original shillelagh ran out of space in 1989 and is on display in South Bend. The current one is a foot longer and commemorates victories in the series dating back to 1990.

5. Wagon Wheel – Akron vs. Kent State

  • First prize: 1946
  • Most recent winner: November 20, 2021 – Kent State 38, Akron 0
  • History of the series: Akron leads 35-27-2

Although not necessarily a rivalry between two perennial soccer powerhouses, this trophy is inextricably linked to both schools.

The trophy became when former Akron industrialist John Buchtel set out to establish a university where Kent State is now located in the 1870s. Along the way his wagon got stuck in the mud and when the horses finally pulled him out, not before losing a wheel of his chariot.

The wheel was discovered in 1902 and in 1945 it was decided as a trophy to present to the winner of the battle between the two MAC schools.

6. Paul Bunyan Ax – Wisconsin vs. Minnesota

  • First prize: 1948
  • Most recent winner: December 19, 2020 – Wisconsin 20, Minnesota 17
  • History of the series: Wisconsin leads 62-60-8

Created in 1948 to replace The lost “Slab of Bacon” trophy of Wisconsin’s letter winners, this trophy is one of the most iconic and undoubtedly one of the most important in college football.

At over six feet long, the scores from each game in the rivalry are recorded on the handle, with one side painted red and white for the Badgers and the other maroon and gold for the Golden Gophers. A new one was crafted in 2000 and the original ax was donated to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

Normally, the winner of each game will take the ax and run across the field with it and “chop down” the goalposts of the opponents.

7. Little Brown Jug – Michigan vs. Minnesota

  • First prize: 1903
  • Most recent winner: October 24, 2020 – Michigan 49, Minnesota 24
  • History of the series: Michigan leads 76-25-3

The oldest rivalry trophy in college football, the Little Brown Jug when Michigan traveled to Minnesota and brought his own five-gallon jug because then-Wolverines coach Fielding Yost did not trust that your equipment’s water supply would not be disturbed.

the jug was awarded for the first time after the two schools tied 6-6. In the pandemonium of Minnesota fans celebrating the comeback and storming the field, Yost left the pitcher in Minneapolis amid all the turmoil.

Due to the physicality of that game, the Wolverines and the Gophers did not play each other again until 1909, and the pitcher went to the winner of every game since.

8. Golden Hat – Oklahoma vs. Texas

  • First prize: 1941
  • Most Recent Winner : October 9, 2021 – Oklahoma 55, Texas 48
  • History of the series: Texas leads 62-50-5

Red River has provided some of the best 12 college football and Big 12 games in recent years, including this one, as Texas lost a 21-point lead and Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley benched the former favorite. from Heisman, Spencer Rattler.

The winner of this historic rivalry dons a ten-gallon gold (formerly bronze) hat to keep for the entire year. Was originally donated by the State Fair of Texas in 1941 and is presented by the president of the respective winning university.

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9. Golden Boot – LSU vs. Arkansas

  • First prize: nineteen ninety six
  • Most recent winner: Nov. Feb. 13, 2021: Arkansas 16, LSU 13 (overtime)
  • History of the series: LSU leads 42-23-2

One of the newer trophies on this list, it’s also one of the most eye-catching.

Introduced 1996 And created by a former Razorback linebacker, it’s made from solid 24-karat gold, stands 4 feet tall, weighs 200 pounds, and is worth around $ 10,000. The trophy gets its name from the outline of Arkansas and Louisiana, which border each other and resemble a boot.

LSU leads the all-time series and series since the installation of the Golden Boot, although Sam Pittman’s team continued its unlikely rise as it entered Death Valley and defeated the Tigers 16-13 in overtime this year. .

10. Old Brass Spittoon – Michigan State vs. Indiana

  • First prize: 1950
  • Most recent winner: Oct 16, 2021 – Michigan State 20, Indiana 15
  • History of the series: Michigan State leads 49-17-2

Inspired by another trophy on this list, the Old Brass Spittoon was obtained by the president of the Michigan State student body at an antique store in East Lansing.

Was originally purchased for $ 25 and there was no guarantee that the Hoosiers would accept this rivalry and the trophy, but eventually Indiana sent a telegram and accepted the challenge. After that, the trophy was presented to each team before the game as a reminder of why they would be playing.

The Spartans are 1-1 in battles for the famous trophy under coach Mel Tucker and achieved a valiant and close 20-15 victory at Bloomington earlier this year.

Honorable mentions:

There are many more trophies that have fascinating stories, are aesthetically pleasing, both, or have something completely different going for them.

Here are the five current trophies that missed the cut:

1. The Platypus (Oregon vs. State of Oregon)

2. The saddle (TCU vs. Texas Tech)

3. The bronze stem (NIU vs. Ball State)

4. Chancellor’s Spurs (Texas vs. Texas Tech)

5. The Land of Lincoln (Illinois vs. Northwest)




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