Photo Essays  

 

Published: Nov. 26, 2014 at 03:45 p.m.

Top 10 college rivalry trophies

Minnesota and Wisconsin meet in a pivotal Big Ten West Division game Saturday. In addition to deciding the division title, the winner gets "Paul Bunyan's Axe." The Axe isn't the only cool rivalry trophy on the line Thanksgiving weekend. Read on about the 10 best rivalry-game trophies.

10 Photos Total

  • <b>The teams:</b> California and Stanford<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> Cool back story: The axe reportedly made its first appearance in April 1899, during a rally at Stanford when it was used to decapitate a straw man wearing Cal's colors. The trophy has been around since 1933 and actually is an axe head mounted on a plaque, which has the series scores. 10

    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    10. The Stanford Axe

    The teams: California and Stanford
    The skinny: Cool back story: The axe reportedly made its first appearance in April 1899, during a rally at Stanford when it was used to decapitate a straw man wearing Cal's colors. The trophy has been around since 1933 and actually is an axe head mounted on a plaque, which has the series scores.

  • <b>The teams:</b> Nevada and UNLV<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> At 545 pounds, it's the heaviest rivalry trophy in college sports and it has gone to the winner of the fierce intrastate rivalry since 1969. The cannon is a replica of one that explorer John C. Fremont used before abandoning it in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1844. 9

    R. Marsh Starks/Associated Press

    9. Fremont Cannon

    The teams: Nevada and UNLV
    The skinny: At 545 pounds, it's the heaviest rivalry trophy in college sports and it has gone to the winner of the fierce intrastate rivalry since 1969. The cannon is a replica of one that explorer John C. Fremont used before abandoning it in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1844.

  • <b>The teams:</b> Colorado State and Wyoming<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> The Boot has been around since 1968. It was worn in Vietnam by a Colorado State alum who was an Army ROTC instructor at the school. During the game, the trophy is guarded by an ROTC detachment from the past season's winning team. 8

    Ben Woloszyn/Associated Press

    8. The Bronze Boot

    The teams: Colorado State and Wyoming
    The skinny: The Boot has been around since 1968. It was worn in Vietnam by a Colorado State alum who was an Army ROTC instructor at the school. During the game, the trophy is guarded by an ROTC detachment from the past season's winning team.

  • <b>The teams:</b> UCLA and USC<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> The Bell, which has been awarded since 1942, is a 295-pound brass bell that once was on a Southern Pacific Railroad locomotive. The Bell is mounted on a four-wheeled carriage and both are painted in the winning team's colors; the winning team shows off the Bell at each of its home games the following season. 7

    Richard Mackson/USA Today Sports

    7. The Victory Bell

    The teams: UCLA and USC
    The skinny: The Bell, which has been awarded since 1942, is a 295-pound brass bell that once was on a Southern Pacific Railroad locomotive. The Bell is mounted on a four-wheeled carriage and both are painted in the winning team's colors; the winning team shows off the Bell at each of its home games the following season.

  • <b>The teams:</b> Illinois and Ohio State<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> It's a 32-pound wooden turtle with its own Twitter account (@IllyIllibuck). The tradition began in 1925, with an actual live turtle given to the winner. But that turtle died in 1927 and the wooden replica -- with the scores from the games painted on its back -- came into use. The teams no longer play annually, but the tradition still will live on. 6

    Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

    6. The Illibuck

    The teams: Illinois and Ohio State
    The skinny: It's a 32-pound wooden turtle with its own Twitter account (@IllyIllibuck). The tradition began in 1925, with an actual live turtle given to the winner. But that turtle died in 1927 and the wooden replica -- with the scores from the games painted on its back -- came into use. The teams no longer play annually, but the tradition still will live on.

  • <b>The teams:</b> Concordia-Moorhead (Minn.) and St. Olaf (Minn.)<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> We cheated here a bit, as this is a Division III matchup. But, man, that thing is so ugly we had to include it. The Troll has been awarded to the winner of the annual game since 1974. Supposedly, The Troll was made in Norway; Norse mythology is big on trolls. 5

    Jim Cella, Concordia College Sports Information Office

    5. The Troll

    The teams: Concordia-Moorhead (Minn.) and St. Olaf (Minn.)
    The skinny: We cheated here a bit, as this is a Division III matchup. But, man, that thing is so ugly we had to include it. The Troll has been awarded to the winner of the annual game since 1974. Supposedly, The Troll was made in Norway; Norse mythology is big on trolls.

  • <b>The teams:</b> Minnesota and Wisconsin<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> This is the most-played rivalry in the nation, and the axe has been presented to the winner since 1948. Tune in to the game, and chances are you'll see the winning team parading the axe around at the final gun. The scores are recorded on the handle. (Before the Axe, the schools played for the "Slab of Bacon," a piece of wood with an "M"/"W" carved on it, depending on which way it was held. That trophy -- which would've been No. 1 on this list, just because -- unfortunately was discontinued in 1943.) 4

    Andy Manis/Associated Press

    4. Paul Bunyan's Axe

    The teams: Minnesota and Wisconsin
    The skinny: This is the most-played rivalry in the nation, and the axe has been presented to the winner since 1948. Tune in to the game, and chances are you'll see the winning team parading the axe around at the final gun. The scores are recorded on the handle. (Before the Axe, the schools played for the "Slab of Bacon," a piece of wood with an "M"/"W" carved on it, depending on which way it was held. That trophy -- which would've been No. 1 on this list, just because -- unfortunately was discontinued in 1943.)

  • <b>The teams:</b> Indiana and Purdue<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> The bucket really is an oak bucket. It has been in use as the rivalry trophy since 1925, and legend has it that the bucket was used in Indiana during the Civil War. 3

    Pat Lovell/USA Today Sports

    3. Old Oaken Bucket

    The teams: Indiana and Purdue
    The skinny: The bucket really is an oak bucket. It has been in use as the rivalry trophy since 1925, and legend has it that the bucket was used in Indiana during the Civil War.

  • <b>The teams:</b> Michigan and Minnesota<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> The Jug has been around since 1903. It's an actual earthenware jug that once was used by the Michigan team; the scores of the game are painted on the side. 2

    Tony Ding/Associated Press

    2. Little Brown Jug

    The teams: Michigan and Minnesota
    The skinny: The Jug has been around since 1903. It's an actual earthenware jug that once was used by the Michigan team; the scores of the game are painted on the side.

  • <b>The teams:</b> Iowa and Minnesota<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> "Floyd" is a bronze pig, and how can that not be the No. 1 trophy in college football? "Floyd" has been around since 1935, and he's 21 inches high and 15.5 inches long, mounted on a wooden pedestal. 1

    Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press

    1. Floyd of Rosedale

    The teams: Iowa and Minnesota
    The skinny: "Floyd" is a bronze pig, and how can that not be the No. 1 trophy in college football? "Floyd" has been around since 1935, and he's 21 inches high and 15.5 inches long, mounted on a wooden pedestal.