This is the last chapter of the my three-part series ranking the nation’s 60+ FBS trophies based on how sweet the trophy looks, and how cool its background is. I broke down and scored each trophy according to Originality, Tradition and Sheer Awesomeness (L-R below).
The far right number represents the Trophy Sweetness score, which I incorporated into a far more absurdly complicated meta-ranking formula (involving the rival programs’ NFL draft picks, competitiveness and all-time Top 10 finishes) for SB Nation.
|Golden Egg||Ole Miss-Mississippi State||1927||3||5||2||10|
Catchy name, but the actual thing – a golden football on a pedastal – is so ho-hum. Lots of creative folks in Oxford. Surely Ole Miss’ Sigma Iota could have come up with some more imaginative.
|The Saddle||TCU-Texas Tech||1961||4||3||3||10|
Good idea. Just wish it had been the schools – not local newspapers looking to generate publicity – which came up with it.
|Victory Bell||Miami (Ohio)-Cincinnati||1899*||2||5||3||10|
Such a now-cliched trophy idea can be excused if it was fresh back in the day, as the 19th century inter-campus shenanigans involved here lead me to believe it was.
|Keg of Nails||Louisville-Cincinnati||1929||4||3||3||10|
Basing your trophy on the saying “tough as nails” is a thumbs down. Making it into a keg full of nails is thumbs up.
|Jewelled Shillelagh||USC-Notre Dame||1952||3||4||3||10|
A Shillelagh is a war club made of oak or blackthorn saplings from Ireland. It’s said those are the only woods because they are the only ones tougher than an Irish skull.
|Old Brass Spittoon||Michigan State-Indiana||1950||5||3||3||11|
Conflicting reports on whether players do or don’t spit into it during celebration.
It cost $10,000 to make. That ties Fremont Cannon for land’s most expensive.
Do you consider model cannons to be trophies?
Despite its 295 pounds, perhaps the most stealth of nation’s trophies.
|Oil Can||Fresno State-SDSU||2011||5||4||2||11|
Cool story, but doesn’t move the phlegm like an alternate idea, pushed during the 2011 trophy fan vote, that called for a Xolotl trophy paying homage to the dogheaded man of Aztec mythology.
Score of the 1982 “Band is on the field” game changes on the trophy based on which side possesses it.
Hats off to programs for getting input from fans on most recent, kid-friendly design.
|Magnolia Bowl||Ole Miss-LSU||2008||5||5||2||12|
Third time around, they got it right.
|Little Brown Jug||Michigan-Minnesota||1903||5||5||2||12|
Super old, but doesn’t necessarily mean super awesome.
Unique as a stronger symbol of the game’s neutral site roots in Dallas (during Texas state fair) than of the programs themselves.
8 and 7.
|Wagon Wheel||Akron-Kent State||1945||5||3||4||12|
I’ll let Nevada coach Chris Ault explain my rating: “… Then we get to the airport and I’ve got to do some fast-talking to get not a gun, but a cannon onto a plane. After 15 minutes of explaining to everyone at the Vegas airport why it had to go back, we had guys carrying it in pieces onto the plane.”
OK, so it’s technically defunct. But it’s memory should linger like a Stubb’s sauce stain that can never be lifted. Forever more, a 100-pound bronze slab of ribs + annual BBQ contest always = AWESOME
|Paul Bunyan Axe||Wisconsin-Minnesota||1948||5||4||5||14|
Used in what may be D1’s best post-game ritual celebration; All started as a replaement for a Slab of Bacon that went missing…
|Floyd of Rosedale||Minnesota-Iowa||1935||5||5||4||14|
Long ago, one governor bet a Minnesota prize hog against an Iowa prize hog that Minnesota would win … so began the story of this glorious bronze pig.
|Old Oaken Bucket||Indiana-Purdue||1925||5||5||4||14|
Blinging out old wooden buckets with gold “P”‘s and “I”‘s is what I want my college football traditions to be all about.
|Bronze Boot||Wyoming-Colorado State||1968||4||5||5||14|
Each year, one school’s ROTC detachment runs the game ball to the Wyoming/Colorado border. The two ROTC detachments meet, exchange the game ball, and hurry on foot to the stadium hosting the game.
A story of mystery featuring the nation’s most far-flung rivalry series ends with bronze depicting the first Hawaiian inducted into the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame. Hell yeah.
For rankings on more FBS rivalry trophies, go to the first parts of this series here and here.