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College Football's Top 5 Rivalry Trophies

The Bones Trophy
© Chris Day/The Commercial Appeal/USA TODAY NETWORK

In college football there are 99 rivalry games in which the winner is presented with a trophy of some sort. Often, we find that the games themselves get ranked but rarely do the trophies themselves get any love.

Here are the top five rivalry trophies in all of college football.

No. 1: 'Chief Caddo' Trophy (SFA vs. Northwestern State)

Known as the "Chief Caddo," this massive trophy was the most unusual rivalry trophy in college football. Standing at 7-foot-6 and weighing in at 320 pounds, "Chief Caddo" was one of the largest trophies ever awarded. Given to the winner of the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (Nacogdoches, Texas) vs. Northwestern State Demons (Natchitoches, La.) football game from 1961-2019, "Cheif Caddo" was first won by Northwestern State with a 7-3 victory, but SFA brought home the trophy for the last time in 2019 with a 32-20 win. The solid-wood trophy was retired in 2019 as both schools jointly came to the decision to discontinue its use.

During the trophy's 54-game span, Northwestern State lead the all-time series 32-21-1. The Demons and Lumberjacks renewed their Southland Conference rivalry last season—without "Chief Caddo"—with SFA

claiming a 41-7 win. SFA and Northwestern will square off the 77th time this season on Oct. 5 in Nacogdoches.

No. 2: 'Battle for the Bones' (UAB vs. Memphis)

Coming in at No. 2 is the "Battle for the Bones" trophy which is awarded to the winner of the UAB Blazers vs. Memphis Tigers football game. Although the rivalry game got its start in 1997, the 100-pound bronze rack of ribs was first awarded in 2006 to represent Birmingham, Ala. and Memphis, Tenn. reputations for barbecue. Memphis won the first two "Battle for the Bones" but the Blazers would win seven straight from 200-2006. UAB would go onto to win the trophy three more times until the rivalry was put on hiatus after the 2012 season when the Tigers left Conference USA for the American Athletic Conference.

The trophy made its return last season with Memphis winning 45-21, but UAB leads the all-time series 10-6. The 2024 game between the Blazers and Tigers will be on Nov. 16 in Memphis.

Who can resist a good plate of barbeque, good football and to have it topped off with one team winning a bronze rack of ribs? Especially when a fan barbecue competition accompanies the event.

3. The Old Wagon Wheel (BYU vs. Utah)

First awarded in 1948 to the winner of the BYU Cougars vs. Utah State Aggies football game, the "Battle for the Old Wagon Wheel" has become a symbol of pride for both Utah State and BYU football programs as well as their fans.

Often, because of it's size, it is moved by hulking offensive lineman. One tradition regarding this trophy is that at some point, the losing team will steal the trophy from the winning team but is always returned in short time. At one point, outside pranksters actually stole the trophy and it's location was unknown for several years. Since the trophy made its debut, BYU leads the all-time series 43-25. The Cougars have won three straight in the series—including a 38-26 win in the 2022 meeting—but the Aggies will have to wait to get their revenge after BYU joined the Big 12 Conference in 2023.

4. The Saddle Trophy (TCU vs. Texas Tech)

First awarded to the winner of the TCU Horned Frogs vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders football game in 1961, this trophy might have the most unusual history of all the college football rivalry trophies.

After the 1970 season, the trophy disappeared and remained missing for decades until it was recreated in 2017 by M.L. Leddy's Boots and Saddlery in Fort Worth, Texas. Originally called the "West Texas Championship—Saddle Trophy," this beauty has 100 trophy plates attached to allow for 100 years of scores to be engraved.

From 1961-1970, each one the Saddle Trophy five times before its disappearance. Despite the lack of a physical award for the winner from 1971-2016, the Horned Frogs and Red Raiders continued their battle for the West Texas Championship, with Texas Tech dominating the series with a record 20-9-3. Since the return of the trophy TCU has held the upper hand winning five of the last seven meetings, but Texas Tech won the 2023 game 35-28. The 2024 game will be held on Oct. 26 in Fort Worth.

5. Floyd of Rosedale (Iowa vs. Minnesota)

This trophy is one of the most famous in all of college football. The 98-pound bronze pig, known as "Floyd of Rosedale," is awarded to the winner of the annual football game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and Minnesota Golden Gophers.

What many might not know is this trophy actually started out as a live prized pig. "Floyd" was first given as a peace offering between former Minnesota Governor Floyd Olson—who the pig was named after—and former Iowa Governor Clyde L. Herring to ease tempers that flared up in the 1934 game between the two schools about the treatment of a star Iowa player.

The pork prize was successful in cooling any threats of violence and Minnesota won the 1935 meeting by a score of 13-6. Governor Herring later personally delivered "Floyd" to Governor Olson. Tragically, after Governor Olson awarded "Floyd" as a prize in a statewide essay-writing contest, the pig passed away from cholera on a farm in southwestern Minnesota in 1936. Governor Olson then had the current "Floyd of Rosedale" trophy commissioned shortly after.

The Hawkeyes lead the trophy series 44-43-2, but the Golden Gophers are currently in possession of the trophy winning the 2023 meeting 12-10, snapping Iowa's eight-game winning streak in the series. Minnesota and Iowa will meeting for the 118th time this season on Sept. 21 in Minneapolis.

While these rivalry games don't garner as much attention on a national stage, these rivalry trophies deserve the recognition as being iconic.



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