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Ranking the 10 best competitive titles of college football, from Iron Skillet to Old Brass Spittoon



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

Fortunately, this is college football, cool heads prevail and fans of the sport have been bestowed with a host of titles in head-to-head games, both old and new, but as many of them as iconic and meaningful as any other trophy to win.

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And even schools that don’t have a rival title (ahem, UCF and UConn) strive for it and create their own , even if they don’t always catch up.

A lot of rival trophies are pretty basic and have many of the same textures and aesthetics – they look like a trophy, have a soccer ball on it, be a cup or a vase or simply normal.

But every once in a while, a trophy comes along that either has a great history behind it, is visually impressive, or has some other characteristic that breaks the norm.

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One of them – the Golden Egg – will be picked up on Thursday when Miss 9 Ole arrives in Starkville to face off against Mississippi State in the annual Egg Bowl. The Rebels won last year’s game and kept a 63-46-6 advantage at all times in the streak.

And while this week is college football game week, not all of the best competitions have trophies (The Game, The Iron Bowl), nor are all the best trophies awarded. during the game week.

With that, here’s a rundown of some of the best titles in the sport, in no particular order, and how they came about.

1. Iron Skillet – SMU vs. TCU

  • First prize: 1946
  • Most recent 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 been around since 1915 and has had 100 meetings, but the awarding of the Cup – a literal iron pan – dates back to 1946. Like some of the honors on this list, Different origin stories.

An account said it was started to “prevent the mutilation of school property” by die-hard fans and that the pan was used as a substitute for vandalism. Another story about the legend indicates that an SMU fan fried frog legs before the game as a joke and an outraged TCU fan thought the outcome of the game would be bad. and frog legs.

This year’s battle was not without controversy, as TCU’s coach at the time was Gary Patterson brought a number of charges against SMU , only to resign a month later. Coach SMU Sonny Dykes rumored to be the frontrunner to replace Patterson.

2. Floyd of Rosedale – Iowa vs. Minnesota

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

A 1934 contest between the Golden Gophers and the Hawkeyes came to a head when Iowa re-run Ozzie Simmons, one of the few Black players in the country at the time, feeling he was hit late and had to leave the game. three times due to injury.

The year after the two schools went head to head, the governor of Iowa stepped in and said if Minnesota players or officials treated Simmons the same way they did in the past, the crowd wouldn’t support it.

So to ease the tension, the governor of Minnesota sent a telegram wagering a pig that the Gophers would win the game, and the governor of Iowa accepted. The trophy’s name is derived from Floyd Olson, then the governor of Minnesota and Rosedale Farms, where Olson took the pig.

3. Golden Egg – Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss

  • First prize: 1927
  • Most recent 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 wasn’t really named “The Egg Bowl” until 1979 as a Mississippi sportswriter, Tom Patterson, called it. Before that, it was the Battle for the Golden Egg, taking its name from the trophy it was awarded.

In 1926, Ole Miss had a 13-game losing streak in the competition, beating Mississippi State 7-6 at Starkville. The result is Ole Miss fans stormed the field, attempting to tear down the markers and scuffles broke out, leading to the creation of the Golden Egg as a measure to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Although not actually gold, the egg is a piece of copper in the shape of a soccer ball that resembles the balls used at the time rather than the ones used today, which is why it resembles an egg rather than a soccer ball.

4. Jeweled Shillelagh – Notre Dame vs USC

  • First prize: 1952
  • Most recent winner: October 23, 2021 – Notre Dame Cathedral 31, USC 16
  • Series history: Notre Dame Cathedral 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 celebrate the series up to that point and authorize the presentation. a jeweled shillelagh, an old Gaelic war club.

At that time, it was said shillelagh has meaning “somewhat symbolizes the noble tradition, the deep rivalry and above all the sincere respect that these two great universities have for each other.” The shillelaghs feature rubies-decorated Trojan heads for USC victories and emerald-decorated 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 over a foot long and celebrates victories in a series dating back to 1990.

5. Wagon Wheel – Bang Akron vs. Kent

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

While not necessarily a rivalry between the two longtime football powerhouses, this trophy is closely linked to both schools.

The trophy has become when former Akron industrialist John Buchtel started a college in what is now Kent was in the 1870s. Along the way, his wagon got stuck in the mud and as the horse pulled it free, it didn’t. right before losing his wheel.

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

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

  • First prize: 1948
  • Most recent winner: December 19, 2020 – Wisconsin 20, Minnesota 17
  • Series history: Wisconsin leads 62-60-8

Created in 1948 instead of, replace the “Slab of Bacon” trophy lost to the Wisconsin lettterwinners, the trophy is one of the most iconic, and certainly one of the biggest, in college football.

Over 6 meters long, the score of each game in the competition is recorded on the handle, with one side painted red and white for the Badger and the other side chestnut and gold for the Golden Gophers. A new one was built in 2000, and the original ax was donated to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

Normally, the winner of each game would take the ax and run around the field with it and “chop” opponent’s target.

7. Little Brown Jug – Michigan vs. Minnesota

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

The oldest rivalry trophy in college football, the Little Brown Jug when Michigan came to Minnesota and brought his own 5-gallon pitcher for then-Wolverines coach Fielding Yost distrust so that his group’s water supply will not be interfered with.

NS the first vase was given after the two schools drew with a score of 6-6. In the crowd of Minnesota fans celebrating his return and storming the field, Yost left the pitcher in Minneapolis amid all the confusion.

Due to the physical nature of that game, werewolves and gophers did not play each other again until 1909, and the pot has gone to the winner of each game since.

8. Yellow Hat – Oklahoma vs. Texas

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

Red River has provided some of the best Big 12 and college football games over the past few years, including this one, when Texas took a 21-point lead and Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley replaced the former coach. Heisman’s favorite member is Spencer Rattler.

The winner of this competition will be given a ten-gallon gold (formerly bronze) hat to hold for the whole year. It was originally given by the Texas State Fair in 1941 and was presented by the president of the respective winning university.

Embedding from Getty Images

9. Golden Boot – LSU vs. Arkansas

  • First prize: 1996
  • Most recent winner: November 13, 2021 – Arkansas 16, LSU 13 (OT)
  • Series history: LSU lead 42-23-2

One of the newer titles on this list, it’s also one of the flashiest.

Introduced in 1996 and created by a former Razorback paver, it is made of solid 24 karat gold, stands 4 feet tall and weighs 200 pounds and is worth about $10,000. The trophy is named after the border of Arkansas and Louisiana, bordering each other and resembling a boot.

LSU leads the all-time series and series since the installation of the Golden Shoe, though Sam Pittman’s roster continued its utopia as it reached Death Valley and knocked out the Tigers 16-13 in extra time this year. .

10. Old Brass Spittoon – Michigan vs Indiana

  • First prize: 1950
  • Most recent 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 acquired by the president of the Michigan state student union in an antique shop in East Lansing.

It was originally purchased for $25 and there was no guarantee the Hoosiers would accept this competition and the trophy, but Indiana eventually sent a telegram and accepted the challenge. The trophy is then given to each team as a reminder of what they will be playing.

The Spartans are drawing 1-1 in a famous trophy battle under coach Mel Tucker and clinching a tough 20-15 win at Bloomington earlier in the year.

Honor Mention:

There are plenty of other titles that have compelling stories, are aesthetically pleasing, both or have something completely different to them,

Here are five current titles that have just been dropped:

1. Platypus (Oregon vs. Oregon State)

2. Saddle (TCU vs Texas Tech)

3. Field (NIU vs. Shadow state)

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

5. Land of Lincoln (Illinois vs. Northwest)





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