The number of games that are played for trophies is one tradition of The Big Ten that helps to make it the conference that it is. Other conferences have a few, but really, how many times have you heard the media talk about them like they do "Floyd of Rosedale" or "The Old Oaken Bucket", or "Paul Bunyon's axe? The Big Ten has more than any other conference, so I guess that is my motivation in all of this. The Juggernitt & Mr. Aaron Musfeldt suggested some really creative ideas on trophy games that I have to admit are pretty neat.
I am really feeling the love for the "Stolen", "Corrected", or whatever "National Championship Trophy" with the years 1982 & 1994 incorporated into it's design for the Penn State / Nebraska game. It does several things, one of which keeps that whole 1982/1994 controversy alive and well.
In addition to winning and holding the trophy,I also really like the idea of winning the right to wear the red shirts at the next Wisconsin / Nebraska game. I think that is an absolutely fantastic idea that is truly unique. A reminder to the fans, the teams, the media, everybody during the entire game as to who won last year's game. The media would talk about that through the whole game. What a great idea.
And I have to admit that if PSU is going to play Temple every year from now on, implementing some sort of trophy to the game is not a bad idea as suggested by DerryPharmer. On a side note, I think that Temple, who has almost their entire team coming back is going to have a fairly good team this year and has the potential to beat Penn State. I hope the Nits don't look past them.
I would like to hear some suggestions on how to get these "Trophy Game" ideas in front of some people who actually have the power and might be interested in implementing some or all of them.
For anyone interested, here is a list of existing Big Ten Trophy Games and my rating on how classy they are:
Penn State - Michigan State for the ugh, "Land Grant Trophy" since 1993; D, This just doesn't cut it.
Minnesota - Iowa for "Floyd of Rosedale" since 1891; A This was a live pig at one time.
Minnesota - Wisconsin for "Paul Bunyan's Axe and a Slab of Bacon" since 1890; A+ A slab of bacon? how cool is that?
Minnesota - Michigan for "The Little Brown Jug" since 1903; A, Originally a water jug for the team that was stolen by the other, I think by Minnesota.
Illinois - Northwestern for "The Land of Lincoln Trophy" since 2009; C- (The Sweet Sioux Tomahawk was just so much classier). What can I say?
Purdue - Indiana for "The Old Oaken Bucket" since 1925; B+, I really like the name of this one.
Ohio State - Illinois for "Illibuck" since 1925; B-, This was a live turtle at one time, now a wooden carving.
Michigan - Michigan State for "The Paul Bunyan Trophy" since 1953; C+, seems to be a knock off of Paul Bunyan's axe.
Indiana - Michigan State for "The Old Brass Spitoon" since 1950; A, Any trophy that incorporates something as nasty as tobacco juice has to get a good rating.
Illinois - Purdue for "The Purdue Cannon" since 1943; B-, Eh, this one is ok, just doesn't have any pizzazz.
Minnesota - Penn State for "The Governor's Victory Bell" since 1993; C-, The second of Penn State's dud trophies
Iowa - Wisconsin for "The Heartland Trophy" since 2004; C-, At least all the dud trophies don't belong to PSU.
And while not a "trophy" in the truest sense of the word, The Ohio State players receive a miniature pair of golden football pants when they beat Michigan. B+, This has to be graded high just because of its uniqueness.
A couple of trophy games are played with Notre Dame as well. Purdue for the " Shillelagh Trophy" and Michigan State for "The Megaphone Trophy".
The history behind some of these are pretty interesting as well.