Ranking of college football’s 10 best rival trophies, from Iron Skillet to Old Brass Spittoon

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Everyone loves a good trophy, right? Of course, a national championship trophy is good and all, but why should only the national champion get to hoist any hardware at the end of the game or the end of the season?

Fortunately, this college football, cool heads were victorious, and fans of the sport have been endowed with a variety of trophies in rival games, both old and new, but many are as iconic and meaningful as any other trophy on the horizon.

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And even schools without rival trophies (ahem, UCF and UConn) tried to get it on and create their own, even though they did not always catch it.

Many of the rival trophies are pretty basic and have many of the same motifs and aesthetics – either they look like a trophy, have a football on them, are a cup or jug ​​of some sort or are they just a kind of ordinary.

But once in a while, a trophy comes along that either has a great story behind it, is visually striking, or has another characteristic that breaks the norm.

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One of them – the golden egg – will be at stake on Thursday when No. 9 Ole Miss travels to Starkville to receive Mississippi State in the annual egg bowl. The Rebels won last year’s match and have a 63-46-6 all-time advantage in the series.

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

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

1. Iron pot – SMU vs. TCU ,

  • First distributed: 1946
  • Latest winner: September 28, 2021 – SMU 42, TCU 31
  • Series history: 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 pot – dates back to 1946. Like several trophies on this list, the history of origin varies.

An account said it was started to “prevent mutilation of school property” by raging fans, and the frying pan served as a substitute for vandalism. Another tale suggests that an SMU fan fried frog legs before the match as a joke, and an offended TCU fan thought the outcome of the game should determine who got the roast and frog legs.

This year’s fight was not without controversy, as then-TCU coach Gary Patterson raised several charges against SMU, only to resign a month later. SMU coach Sonny Dykes is rumored to be the frontrunner to replace Patterson.

2. Floyd of Rosedale – Iowa vs. Minnesota

  • First distributed: 1935
  • Latest winner: November 13, 2021 – Iowa 27, Minnesota 22
  • Series history: Minnesota leads 62-51-2

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

The following year, when the two schools faced each other, Iowa’s governor got involved and said that if Minnesota players or officials treated Simmons the same way they did in the past, the audience would not stand for it.

So to ease the tension, the Minnesota governor sent a telegram in which he bet on a prize pig that Gophers would win the game, and the governor of Iowa accepted. The trophy’s name comes from Floyd Olson, then Minnesota’s governor and Rosedale Farms, where Olson got the pig.

3. Golden Egg – Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss

  • First distributed: 1927
  • Latest winner: November 28, 2020 – Ole Miss 31, Mississippi State 24
  • Series history: Ole Miss leads 63-46-6

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Another case of trying to curb vandalism, the rivalry did not actually get the name “Egg Bowl” until 1979, when a Mississppi sports writer Tom Patterson christened it as such. Before that, it was the Battle for the Golden Egg that got its namesake from the trophy that has been awarded.

In 1926, Ole Miss beat a losing streak of 13 games in the rivalry and beat Mississippi State 7-6 in Starkville. As a result, Ole Miss fans stormed the pitch, trying to tear down the goalposts, and fights ensued, 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 football-shaped piece of brass that resembles the balls used at the time than those currently in use, which is why it resembles an egg more than a football.

4. Jeweled Shillelagh – Notre Dame Vs. USC

  • First distributed: 1952
  • Latest winner: October 23, 2021 – Notre Dame 31, USC 16
  • Series history: 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 of Los Angeles decided to celebrate the series until that time and commissioned the presentation of a jewel-studded shillelagh, an old Gaelic war club.

At the time, it was said that shillelagh was meant to “partially symbolize the high tradition, the sharp rivalry, and above all the sincere respect that these two great universities have for each other.” Shillelagh has ruby-adorned Trojan heads for USC victories and emerald-adorned shamrocks 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 celebrates victories in the series dating back to 1990.

5. Wagon wheels – Akron vs. Kent State

  • First distributed: 1946
  • Latest winner: November 20, 2021 – Kent State 38, Akron 0
  • Series history: Akron leads 35-27-2

While not necessarily a rivalry between two eternal football powers, this trophy is inextricably linked to both schools.

The trophy was created when the former industrialist in Akron, John Buchtel, set out to establish a college where Kent State now stands in the 1870s. Along the way, his carriage got stuck in the mud, and when horses eventually pulled it free, but not before he lost a wheel to his carriage.

The wheel was discovered in 1902 and was decided in 1945 as the trophy to give to the winner of the match between the two MAC schools.

6. Paul Bunyan’s Ax – Wisconsin vs. Minnesota

  • First distributed: 1948
  • Latest winner: December 19, 2020 – Wisconsin 20. Minnesota 17
  • Series history: Wisconsin leads 62-60-8

Created in 1948 to replace the lost “Slab of Bacon” trophy by Wisconsin letter winners, this trophy is one of the most iconic and certainly among the greatest in college football.

With a length of more than six feet, the points for each game of rivalry are recorded on the handle, with one side painted red and white for the Badgers and the other reddish brown and gold for the Golden Gophers. A new one was made in 2000, and the original ax was donated to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

Typically, the winner of each game will take the ax and run around the court with it and “chop” down the opponents’ goal posts.

7. Little Brown Jug – Michigan vs. Minnesota

  • First distributed: 1903
  • Latest winner: October 24, 2020 – Michigan 49, Minnesota 24
  • Series history: Michigan leads 76-25-3

The oldest rival 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 his team’s water supply would not be tampered with.

The pitcher was first handed out after the two schools draw 6-6. In a pandemonium of Minnesota fans celebrating the comeback and storming the pitch, Yost left the pitcher in Minneapolis amid all the confusion.

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

8. Golden Hat – Oklahoma vs. Texas

  • First distributed: 1941
  • Latest winner : October 9, 2021 – Oklahoma 55, Texas 48
  • Series history: Texas leads 62-50-5

Red River has delivered some of the best Big 12 and college football games over the past many years, including this one when Texas blew a 21-point lead and Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley put former Heisman favorite Spencer Rattler on the bench.

The winner of this great rivalry will receive a gold hat (formerly bronze) of ten gallons, which he can keep all year round. It was originally donated by the Texas State Fair in 1941 and presented by the president of the respective winning university.

Integrate from Getty Images

9. Golden Boot – LSU vs. Arkansas

  • First distributed: 1996
  • Latest winner: nov. 13, 2021 – Arkansas 16, LSU 13 (OT)
  • Series history: LSU leads 42-23-2

One of the newer trophies on this list, it is also one of the most flashy.

Introduced in 1996 and created by a former Razorback linebacker, it is made of solid 24 carat gold, is 4 feet high and weighs 200 pounds and is worth about $ 10,000. The trophy got its name from the outline of Arkansas and Louisiana, which border each other and look like a boot.

LSU leads the all-time series and series since the installation of the Golden Boot, though Sam Pittman’s crew continued its unlikely progress as it went into Death Valley, beating the Tigers 16-13 in overtime this year.

10. Old Brass Spittoon – Michigan State vs. Indiana

  • First distributed: 1950
  • Latest winner: October 16, 2021 – Michigan State 20, Indiana 15
  • Series history: Michigan State leads 49-17-2

Inspired by another trophy on this list, the Old Brass Spittoon was obtained by the Michigan State Student President at an antique shop in East Lansing.

It was originally purchased for $ 25, and there was no guarantee that the Hoosiers would accept this rivalry and trophy, but eventually Indiana sent a telegram accepting the challenge. The trophy was then presented to each team’s pregame as a reminder of what they would play for.

The Spartans are 1-1 in the battles for the famous trophy during coach Mel Tucker’s tenure and got a brave and close 20-15 victory at Bloomington earlier this year.

Honorable mentions:

There are lots of more trophies out there that have fascinating stories, are aesthetically pleasing, both or have something completely different to them,

Here are the five current trophies that just missed the cut:

1. The Platypus (Oregon vs. Oregon State)

2. Saddle (TCU vs. Texas Tech)

3. Bronze Stems (NIU vs. Ball State)

Chancellor’s Spurs (Texas vs. Texas Tech)

5. Lincoln County (Illinois vs. Northwestern)

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