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

Everyone loves a superb trophy, proper? Sure, a nationwide championship trophy is good and all, however why ought to solely the nationwide champion get to hoist some {hardware} at the finish of the recreation or the finish of the season?

Luckily, this being college soccer, cooler heads prevailed and followers of the sport have been gifted with a slew of trophies in rivalry video games, each previous and new, however many are simply as iconic and significant as another trophy up for grabs.

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And even faculties with out rivalry trophies (ahem, UCF and UConn) tried to get it on it and create their very own , even when they did not all the time catch on.

A number of the rivalry trophies are pretty primary and have a lot of the similar motifs and aesthetics — both they seem like a trophy, have a soccer on them, are a cup or jug of some form or are simply type of plain.

But each from time to time, a trophy comes alongside that both has a terrific historical past behind it, is visually hanging or has another attribute going for it that breaks the norm.

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One of them — the Golden Egg — might be up for grabs on Thursday when No. 9 Ole Miss travels to Starkville to tackle Missisippi State in the annual Egg Bowl. The Rebels received final 12 months’s recreation and holds a 63-46-6 all-time benefit in the sequence.

And although this week is rivalry week in college soccer, not all of the best rivalries have a trophy (The Game, The Iron Bowl), nor are all of the best trophies given out throughout rivalry week.

With that, here is a primer on a few of the best trophies in the sport, in no explicit order, and the way they got here to be.

1. Iron Skillet — SMU vs. TCU

  • First awarded:  1946
  • Most latest winner: Sept. 28, 2021 – SMU 42, TCU 31
  • Series historical past:  TCU leads 51-42-7

This is a rivalry between two Texas faculties that is been round since 1915 and has had 100 conferences, however the awarding of the Trophy — a literal iron skillet — dates again to 1946. Like a number of trophies on this record, the origin story varies.

One account mentioned it was began to “prevent mutilation of school property” by raucuous followers and the skillet served as an alternative to vandalism. Another telling of the lore signifies an SMU fan was frying frog legs earlier than the recreation as a joke and an offended TCU fan thought the end result of the recreation ought to get deterime who acquired the skillet and the frog legs.

This 12 months’s battle wasn’t with out controversy, as then-TCU coach Gary Patterson levied a number of accusations in opposition to SMU , solely to step down a month later. SMU coach Sonny Dykes is rumored to be the front-runner to exchange Patterson.

2. Floyd of Rosedale — Iowa vs. Minnesota

  • First awarded:  1935
  • Most latest winner: Nov. 13, 2021 – Iowa 27, Minnesota 22
  • Series historical past:  Minnesota leads 62-51-2

A 1934 contest between the Golden Gophers and Hawkeyes turned heated when Iowa working again Ozzie Simmons, certainly one of the few Black gamers in the nation at the time, felt he was subjected to late hits and had to go away the recreation thrice due to accidents.

The following 12 months when the two faculties confronted off, Iowa’s governor acquired concerned and mentioned if Minnesota gamers or officers handled Simmons the similar means they did in the previous, that the crowd would not stand for it.

So to ease tensions, Minnesota’s governor despatched a telegram wagering a prize hog that the Gophers would win the recreation and Iowa’s governor accepted. The trophy’s identify comes from Floyd Olson, then Minnesota’s governor and Rosedale Farms, the place Olson acquired the pig.

3. Golden Egg — Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss

  • First awarded:  1927
  • Most latest winner:  Nov. 28, 2020 – Ole Miss 31, Mississippi State 24
  • Series historical past:  Ole Miss leads 63-46-6

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Another case of attempting to curb vandalism, the rivalry did not really get named “The Egg Bowl” till 1979 when a Mississppi sports activities author Tom Patterson dubbed it as such. Prior to that, it was the Battle for the Golden Egg, which acquired its namesake from the trophy that is awarded.

In 1926, Ole Miss snapped a 13-game shedding streak in the rivalry, beating Mississippi State 7-6 in Starkville. As a end result , Ole Miss followers stormed the area, tried to tear down goalposts and fights broke out, main to the creation of the Golden Egg as a method to stop related incidents in the future.

Though not really golden, the egg is a football-shaped piece of brass extra related to the balls used at the time than the ones used at present, which is why it resembles an egg greater than a soccer.

4. Jeweled Shillelagh — Notre Dame vs. USC

  • First awarded:  1952
  • Most latest winner:  Oct. 23, 2021 – Notre Dame 31, USC 16
  • Series historical past:  Notre Dame leads. 48-36-5

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The rivalry between these two faculties really started in 1926, however in 1952, the Notre Dame Alumni Club of Los Angeles determined to commemorate the sequence up to that time and commissioned the presentation of a jeweled shillelagh, an previous Gaelic warfare membership.

At the time, it was mentioned the shillelagh was meant to “symbolize in part the high tradition, the keen rivalry and above all the sincere respect which these two great universities have for each other.” The shillelagh options ruby adorned Trojan heads for USC wins and emerald adorned shamrocks for Notre Dame wins.

The unique shillelagh ran out of area in 1989 and is on show in South Bend. The present one is a foot longer and commemorates wins in the sequence courting again to 1990.

5. Wagon Wheel — Akron vs. Kent State

  • First awarded:  1946
  • Most latest winner:  Nov. 20, 2021 – Kent State 38, Akron 0
  • Series historical past:  Akron leads 35-27-2

Though not essentially a rivalry between two perennial soccer powers, this trophy is inextricably linked to each faculties.

The trophy got here to be when former Akron industrialist John Buchtel set out to set up a college the place Kent State now’s in the 1870s. En route, his wagon acquired caught in the mud and when horses ultimately pulled it free, however not earlier than shedding a wheel to his wagon. 

The wheel was found in 1902 and in 1945 was determined as the trophy to give to the winner of the battle between the two MAC faculties.

6. Paul Bunyan’s Axe — Wisconsin vs. Minnesota

  • First awarded:  1948
  • Most latest winner:  Dec. 19, 2020 – Wisconsin 20, Minnesota 17
  • Series historical past:  Wisconsin leads 62-60-8

Created in 1948 to exchange the misplaced “Slab of Bacon” trophy by Wisconsin lettterwinners, this trophy is certainly one of the most iconic, and positively amongst the largest in college soccer.

At over six toes lengthy, the scores of every recreation in the rivalry are recorded on the deal with, with one aspect painted purple and white for the Badgers and the different maroon and gold for the Golden Gophers. A brand new one was crafted in 2000 and the unique axe was donated to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

Typically, the winner of every recreation will take the axe and run round the area with it and “chop down” the oppnents’ objective posts.

7. Little Brown Jug — Michigan vs. Minnesota

  • First awarded:  1903
  • Most latest winner:  Oct. 24, 2020 – Michigan 49, Minnesota 24
  • Series historical past:  Michigan leads 76-25-3

The oldest rivalry trophy in college soccer, the Little Brown Jug when Michigan traveled to Minnesota and introduced its personal five-gallon jug as a result of then-Wolverines coach Fielding Yost did not belief that his staff’s water provide would not be tampered with.

The jug was first awarded after the two faculties tied 6-6. In the pandemonium of Minnesota followers celebrating the comeback and storming the area, Yost left the jug in Minneapolis amid all the confusion.

Due to the physicality of that recreation, the Wolverines and Gophers did not play one another once more till 1909, with the jug going to the winner of every recreation since then.

8. Golden Hat — Oklahoma vs. Texas 

  • First awarded:  1941
  • Most latest winner : Oct. 9, 2021 – Oklahoma 55, Texas 48
  • Series historical past:  Texas leads 62-50-5

Red River has supplied a few of the best Big 12 and college soccer video games over the final a number of years, this one included, as Texas blew a 21-point lead and Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley benched former Heisman favourite Spencer Rattler.

The winner of this storied rivalry will get to don a gold (previously bronze) ten-gallon hat to preserve for the entire 12 months. It was initially donated by the Texas State Fair in 1941 and is offered by the president of the respective successful college.

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9. Golden Boot — LSU vs. Arkansas

  • First awarded:  1996
  • Most latest winner:  Nov. 13, 2021 – Arkansas 16, LSU 13 (OT)
  • Series historical past:  LSU leads 42-23-2

One of the newer trophies on this record, it is also certainly one of the flashiest.

Introduced in 1996 and created by a former Razorback linebacker, it is made out of strong pure gold, is 4-feet tall and 200 kilos and is value about $10,000. The trophy will get its identify from the define of Arkansas and Louisiana, which border one another and resemble a boot.

LSU leads the all-time sequence and the sequence since the set up of the Golden Boot, although Sam Pittman’s squad continued its unbelievable rise when it went in to Death Valley and knocked off the Tigers 16-13 in additional time this 12 months.

10. Old Brass Spittoon — Michigan State vs. Indiana

  • First awarded:  1950
  • Most latest winner:  Oct. 16, 2021 – Michigan State 20, Indiana 15
  • Series historical past:  Michigan State leads 49-17-2

Inspired by one other trophy on this record, the Old Brass Spittoon was obtained by the Michigan State scholar physique president in an vintage store in East Lansing.

It was initially purchased for $25 and there was no assure of the Hoosiers accepting this rivalry and the trophy, however ultimately Indiana despatched a telegram and accepted the problem. After that, the trophy was offered to every staff pregame as a reminder of what they’d be enjoying for.

The Spartans are 1-1 in battles for the well-known trophy underneath coach Mel Tucker’s tenure and pulled off a gutsy and shut 20-15 victory in Bloomington earlier this 12 months.

Honorable Mentions:

There are lots extra trophies on the market which have fascinating tales, are aesthetically pleasing, each or have one thing solely totally different going for them altogether,

Here are the 5 present trophies that simply missed the minimize:

1. The Platypus (Oregon vs. Oregon State)

2. The Saddle (TCU vs. Texas Tech)

3. The Bronze Stalk (NIU vs. Ball State)

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

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

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