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Published: May 29, 2015 at 12:10 p.m.

15 for '15: College football's best rivalry trophies

» Complete 15 for '15 series

CFB 24/7 continues its "15 for '15" series with a look at the top rivalry trophies in college football.

While there are numerous rivalries in the running to be called "the best," there really are not that many interesting trophies associated with those games. Instead, the best rivalry trophies are just plain unique -- and even weird.

15 Photos Total

  • <b>The teams:</b> Arizona and Arizona State<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> The Cup first was awarded in 1899, making it the oldest rivalry trophy in college sports. The rivalry always has been heated, but the Cup itself wasn't that big a deal; indeed, it was "lost" for 80 years <a target="_blank" href="http://www.statepress.com/article/2013/02/out-of-bounds-history-of-the-territorial-cup/"> before it was found in 1980 in the basement</a> of a Tempe church. A replica of the Cup is handed out on the field every year. The actual cup is housed in special places on each campus, depending upon the winning team. 15

    Wily Low / Associated Press

    15. Territorial Cup

    The teams: Arizona and Arizona State
    The skinny: The Cup first was awarded in 1899, making it the oldest rivalry trophy in college sports. The rivalry always has been heated, but the Cup itself wasn't that big a deal; indeed, it was "lost" for 80 years before it was found in 1980 in the basement of a Tempe church. A replica of the Cup is handed out on the field every year. The actual cup is housed in special places on each campus, depending upon the winning team.

  • <b>The teams:</b> DePauw (Ind.) and Wabash (Ind.)<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> This is a fierce Division III rivalry, as the schools are only about 30 miles apart. The series is 121 games old and began in 1890, making it one of the oldest rivalries in the nation. The Monon Bell has gone to the winner since 1932. The bell itself is a 300-pounder once used on the Monon Railroad, a system that operated almost entirely in the state of Indiana. 14

    Seth Rossman / Associated Press

    14. The Monon Bell

    The teams: DePauw (Ind.) and Wabash (Ind.)
    The skinny: This is a fierce Division III rivalry, as the schools are only about 30 miles apart. The series is 121 games old and began in 1890, making it one of the oldest rivalries in the nation. The Monon Bell has gone to the winner since 1932. The bell itself is a 300-pounder once used on the Monon Railroad, a system that operated almost entirely in the state of Indiana.

  • <b>The teams:</b> SMU and TCU<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> This is one of the more off-beat trophies. Why an iron skillet (and that's what the trophy is, an iron skillet)? Each school has a different version, but what they agree on is that since 1946, the winner has gained possession. The schools, located about 40 miles apart in the Dallas metroplex, first played in 1915. 13

    Brandon Wade / Associated Press

    13. Iron Skillet

    The teams: SMU and TCU
    The skinny: This is one of the more off-beat trophies. Why an iron skillet (and that's what the trophy is, an iron skillet)? Each school has a different version, but what they agree on is that since 1946, the winner has gained possession. The schools, located about 40 miles apart in the Dallas metroplex, first played in 1915.

  • <b>The teams:</b> Mississippi State and Ole Miss<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> The schools annually end their regular seasons in the "Egg Bowl," so named because of the egg-shaped trophy that goes to the winner. The game's winner has received possession of the trophy since 1927. The trophy is egg-shaped because footballs used in the 1920s more closely resembled an egg than the balls used today. 12

    Thomas Graning / Associated Press

    12. Golden Egg

    The teams: Mississippi State and Ole Miss
    The skinny: The schools annually end their regular seasons in the "Egg Bowl," so named because of the egg-shaped trophy that goes to the winner. The game's winner has received possession of the trophy since 1927. The trophy is egg-shaped because footballs used in the 1920s more closely resembled an egg than the balls used today.

  • <b>The teams:</b> Illinois and Ohio State<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> The tradition began in 1925, with an actual live turtle given to the winner. But, hey, turtles die, and the original turtle moved on to (presumably) a better place in 1927. It was decided that instead of a live turtle, the winner would get a replica and -- voila! -- a 32-pound wooden replica came into use. The wooden turtle has its own Twitter account (<a href="https://twitter.com/IllyIllibuck" target="new">@IllyIllibuck</a>), and the scores from the games are painted on its back. The teams no longer play annually, which drops it a few spots on our list, but the tradition still will live on when they do meet. 11

    Jeff Haynes / Associated Press

    11. The Illibuck

    The teams: Illinois and Ohio State
    The skinny: The tradition began in 1925, with an actual live turtle given to the winner. But, hey, turtles die, and the original turtle moved on to (presumably) a better place in 1927. It was decided that instead of a live turtle, the winner would get a replica and -- voila! -- a 32-pound wooden replica came into use. The wooden turtle has its own Twitter account (@IllyIllibuck), and the scores from the games are painted on its back. The teams no longer play annually, which drops it a few spots on our list, but the tradition still will live on when they do meet.

  • <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 game's winner since 1969. The cannon is a replica of the one that explorer <a href="http://historytogo.utah.gov/people/johncharlesfremont.html" target="new">John C. Fremont</a> used before abandoning it in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1844. 10

    Cathleen Allison / Associated Press

    10. 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 game's winner since 1969. The cannon is a replica of the one that explorer John C. Fremont used before abandoning it in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1844.

  • <b>The teams:</b> California and Stanford<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> The game rarely has much national cachet, but it's a nasty rivalry; at its core, it's smart public-school kids vs. smart private-school kids. And it evidently has been that way a long time: The axe reportedly made its first appearance in April 1899, during a rally at Stanford when it was used to decapitate a straw figure wearing Cal's colors. The trophy has gone to the winner since 1933 and actually is an axe head mounted on a plaque, which has the series scores. 9

    Tony Avelar / Associated Press

    9. The Stanford Axe

    The teams: California and Stanford
    The skinny: The game rarely has much national cachet, but it's a nasty rivalry; at its core, it's smart public-school kids vs. smart private-school kids. And it evidently has been that way a long time: The axe reportedly made its first appearance in April 1899, during a rally at Stanford when it was used to decapitate a straw figure wearing Cal's colors. The trophy has gone to the winner since 1933 and actually is an axe head mounted on a plaque, which has the series scores.

  • <b>The teams:</b> Colorado State and Wyoming<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> It's a relatively young trophy, as The Boot has been around only since 1968. But it has a great back story: 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

    Perry Grandjean/The Laramie Boomerang

    8. The Bronze Boot

    The teams: Colorado State and Wyoming
    The skinny: It's a relatively young trophy, as The Boot has been around only since 1968. But it has a great back story: 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> Northwestern State (La.) and Stephen F. Austin<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> This FCS matchup features teams from Natchitoches, La., and Nacogdoches, Texas, and the victor gets a 7-foot-6, 330-pound wooden statue of an Indian chief. The teams have been playing for the trophy since 1961. Why an Indian chief? The Caddo tribe helped settle the areas in which both schools are located. The Stephen F. Austin athletic website says a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.sfajacks.com/trads/sasu-chief.html">Caddo chief had twin sons named Nacogdoches and Natchitoches</a>, and each settled in areas they named after themselves. 7

    Hardy Meredith/SFA Athletics

    7. Chief Caddo

    The teams: Northwestern State (La.) and Stephen F. Austin
    The skinny: This FCS matchup features teams from Natchitoches, La., and Nacogdoches, Texas, and the victor gets a 7-foot-6, 330-pound wooden statue of an Indian chief. The teams have been playing for the trophy since 1961. Why an Indian chief? The Caddo tribe helped settle the areas in which both schools are located. The Stephen F. Austin athletic website says a Caddo chief had twin sons named Nacogdoches and Natchitoches, and each settled in areas they named after themselves.

  • <b>The teams:</b> UCLA and USC<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> It's a big trophy, for sure -- a 295-pound brass bell that once was on a Southern Pacific Railroad locomotive. It has been awarded to the game's winner since 1942. The Bell is mounted on a four-wheeled carriage, and both the bell and the carriage are painted in the winning team's colors; the winning team shows off The Bell at each of its home games the following season. 6

    GB / Associated Press

    6. The Victory Bell

    The teams: UCLA and USC
    The skinny: It's a big trophy, for sure -- a 295-pound brass bell that once was on a Southern Pacific Railroad locomotive. It has been awarded to the game's winner since 1942. The Bell is mounted on a four-wheeled carriage, and both the bell and the carriage 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> Concordia-Moorhead (Minn.) and St. Olaf (Minn.)<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> For the third time, we have stepped outside the FBS ranks, as this is another Division III matchup. How can we leave out something as ... unique as The Troll? (OK, we admit it: The uniqueness comes because the thing is so ugly.) The Troll has been awarded to the winner of the annual game since 1974. Supposedly, The Troll actually 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: For the third time, we have stepped outside the FBS ranks, as this is another Division III matchup. How can we leave out something as ... unique as The Troll? (OK, we admit it: The uniqueness comes because the thing is so ugly.) The Troll has been awarded to the winner of the annual game since 1974. Supposedly, The Troll actually was made in Norway; Norse mythology is big on trolls.

  • <b>The teams:</b> Indiana and Purdue<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> From the truth in advertising department: The bucket really is an oak bucket <i>and</i> it is old. 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. 4

    John Sommers / Associated Press

    4. Old Oaken Bucket

    The teams: Indiana and Purdue
    The skinny: From the truth in advertising department: The bucket really is an oak bucket and it is old. 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> Just as with the Old Oaken Bucket, the Little Brown Jug is just that -- it's a relatively small earthenware jug that is painted brown. It has been around since 1903 and it once was used by the Michigan team. The scores of the game are painted on the side. 3

    Tony Ding / Associated Press

    3. Little Brown Jug

    The teams: Michigan and Minnesota
    The skinny: Just as with the Old Oaken Bucket, the Little Brown Jug is just that -- it's a relatively small earthenware jug that is painted brown. It has been around since 1903 and it once was used by the Michigan team. The scores of the game are painted on the side.

  • <b>The teams:</b> Minnesota and Wisconsin<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> You can win some bets with this fact: Minnesota-Wisconsin is the most-played FBS rivalry in the nation; the series covers 124 games, dating to 1890, and the axe has been presented to the winner since 1948. The scores are recorded on the handle. Before the Axe, the trophy was even cooler -- it was called <a href="http://www.uwbadgers.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/101006aaa.html" target="new">the "Slab of Bacon."</a> In reality, it was a piece of wood with an "M"/"W" carved on it, depending on which way it was held. That trophy was discontinued in 1943. 2

    Andy Manis / Associated Press

    2. Paul Bunyan's Axe

    The teams: Minnesota and Wisconsin
    The skinny: You can win some bets with this fact: Minnesota-Wisconsin is the most-played FBS rivalry in the nation; the series covers 124 games, dating to 1890, and the axe has been presented to the winner since 1948. The scores are recorded on the handle. Before the Axe, the trophy was even cooler -- it was called the "Slab of Bacon." In reality, it was a piece of wood with an "M"/"W" carved on it, depending on which way it was held. That trophy was discontinued in 1943.

  • <b>The teams:</b> Iowa and Minnesota<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> "Floyd" is a bronze pig and, really, 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. An aside: For a program that hasn't really been all that relevant for the past 50 or so years, Minnesota still is involved with the top three trophies on this list. All hail the Golden Gophers. 1

    Tom Olmscheid / Associated Press

    1. Floyd of Rosedale

    The teams: Iowa and Minnesota
    The skinny: "Floyd" is a bronze pig and, really, 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. An aside: For a program that hasn't really been all that relevant for the past 50 or so years, Minnesota still is involved with the top three trophies on this list. All hail the Golden Gophers.