Nebraska Trophy Games

Submitted by Mr Mackey on June 22nd, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Yesterday on the Big Ten Blog, there was a mailbag question from a Nebraska fan wondering about his team playing in a trophy game in their new conference. He suggested taking the Land-Grant game away from MSU (which they probably wouldn't care about..), but it got me thinking.

Wouldn't it be cool / fun / rivalry-y for Michigan and Nebraska to play for some kind of "1997 National Championship" or something like that? Obviously worded a little better..

I'm not sure if that guy asking the question was just some outlier and Nebraska fans don't really care about trophy games (most are stupid), but that brings me to my question.

Who would decide to play for a trophy? The ADs, presidents, coaches, or the B1G? And do you think Nebraska will play in a trophy game?

I know there's the story of the Little Brown Jug, leaving it in Minnesota and having to beat them to get it back, but I'm completely clueless about other ones.


Mitch Cumstein

June 22nd, 2011 at 9:59 AM ^

Call me a slappy, but I actually like trophy games. I mean, I get a little extra jacked up for the Minnesota game b/c of the brown jug.  I think its cool, especially when it involves a little piece of sports history.  Its makes kind of a mini-rivalry and gives more meaning to the game. Little things like that are what makes college football fun outside of the actual football.  I think it would be fun to have a trophy game with Nebraska.


June 22nd, 2011 at 2:33 PM ^

I like trophy games in general, but there should be a limit to how many you can have.  Two is sufficient.  MSU has like four or five, and even Spartan fans can't keep track of which one stands for what.   Also, I think the best trophies come about organically, without any real planning, as was the case of the Little Brown Jug.  If we ever have a trophy with Nebraska, I think it'd need to be some kind of memento from a game played between the teams, and not an artificially-created trophy.



June 22nd, 2011 at 10:13 AM ^

The "Shut your f*cking mouth, Scott Frost" Trophy.

I'll pass.  The conference already has enough lame trophies.  And I'm including the Paul Bunyan one with Sparty on that list.  The worst conference trophy game by far?  That Illibuck turtle thing that OSU and Illlinois play for. 

The little brown jug is the only real trophy that has any meaning to it because it has a great history behind it and it was part of an actual game. 

Wolverine In Exile

June 22nd, 2011 at 10:33 AM ^

I think the Paul Bunyan Axe between Minn & Wiscy has a good history behind it, isn't a cheesy trophy, and actually is accentuated since it replaced the "Slab of BackBacon" trophy they used to p lay for. And while the Jug is #1 in my book for trophy games by far, the undisputed #2 trophy game in the Big Ten has to be the Floyd of Rosedale between Iowa & Minny. You have the classic elements of:

1) Two good teams when the trophy was initiated (Both Minny & Iowa were undefeated when they played in 1934)

2) the governors of both states having a personal bet and incititing riots by their fan bases

3) the losing team, in spite naming the trophy after the winning governor

4) The feds getting involved as a potential violation of interstate gambling laws

Plus, the fact that after the original pig died, they made a bronze statue of a pig is a pretty good sidestory to this as well.


June 22nd, 2011 at 10:17 AM ^

I believe the Paul Bunyan trophy was set up by Michigan's governor at the time.  I don't think there is any set comittee on what can be a trophy game or not though.

wouldn't the Land Grant Trophy be a three way thing?  (Or maybe more)


June 22nd, 2011 at 10:20 AM ^

I would think that Nebraska-Iowa would be a natural for some corn growing related trophy. I know, I know it would be a pretty corny trophy but whats a farmer to do.

Wolverine In Exile

June 22nd, 2011 at 10:41 AM ^

a game with Iowa for a John Deere tractor, or the city of Carter Lake, Iowa, which actually sits in NE.

Mythical game: "And Stanzi is now parading around Nebraska's historic Memorial Stadium with all his Hawkeye's in tow.. literally."

M - Flightsci

June 22nd, 2011 at 10:50 AM ^

The Jug adds a unique historical quality to the UM-UM game, makes it worth watching above and beyond the fact that Michigan is playing a football game, and just enough integral value to make losing it taste the pain of life /emo


June 22nd, 2011 at 10:55 AM ^

He suggested taking the Land-Grant game away from MSU (which they probably wouldn't care about..)

This doesn't make much sense given that MSU and PSU are the two oldest land-grant universities, which is why that trophy was created in the first place.

Wolverine 73

June 22nd, 2011 at 11:55 AM ^

have a certain quaintness to them (Jug) or sometimes cleverness (Floyd).  They are remnants of a different era in college ball.  To manufacture a new, contrived trophy just to have one makes no sense.  If one were to somehow crop up, that would be fine.  But enough with the "everyone needs a mascot, everyone needs a trophy" thinking.


June 22nd, 2011 at 12:52 PM ^

Theres alot of talk around Omaha about people really wanting to play Wisconsin year in and out. they really want to play for a trophy called the big red paint can.


June 22nd, 2011 at 3:14 PM ^

They can play for the Double Helix Trophy, named because both teams got trashed by not only the local and national press, but even many of their own "fans" for injecting new DNA into their coaching trees.


June 22nd, 2011 at 4:57 PM ^

Trophy games are more worthy where there is a definitive storyline behind it.  The Little Brown Jug is rich with tradition and meaning for Michigan/Minn.  To invent a trophy for the M/Neb game is hokey.  Aside from the LBJ game, our biggest rivalry games, ND and tOSU, we do not play for a trophy.  As for the MSU game, most M/MSU fans will say we play for bragging rights in the state and not so much for the trophy.