Welcome Back: 10 Rivalry trophies we’ve missed on future college football schedules

By Amy Daughters -

Once played annually, the following matchups are currently featured intermittently, leaving their trophies to gather dust until a future date. Whether it was conference realignment, expansion, or scheduling complications that compromised their regular meetings, each is still a rivalry worthy of a traveling prize.

The Bell – MARSHALL vs. OHIO2027

One of nine bells played for at the FBS level, this “Battle for the Bell” dates to 1997 when Marshall left the FCS Southern Conference for the MAC. The two schools, which first played in 1905, are located a mere 80-miles apart, separated by the Ohio River, making it natural that their version of a rivalry Bell would commemorate the bells once used by riverboats in the area. The two met consecutively from 1997-2004 as members of the MAC before taking a break when Marshall moved to C-USA in 2005. After reuniting in the 2009 Little Caesar’s Bowl, they met annually from 2010-15 and then had a home-and-home series booked for 2019/20, the last half of which was lost to the pandemic. Though Ohio leads the all-time series 33-21-6, Marshall is 11-5 in Bell play, the two splitting the last four meetings.

The Centennial Cup – COLORADO vs. COLORADO STATE2023/24, 2029/30, 2033/34, 2037/38

Though the rivalry is 126-years old, the Centennial Cup – awarded to the winner of the Rocky Mountain Showdown – didn’t make its debut until 1986. Apart from World War II, the Rams and Buffs met consecutively from 1906-58. Then, after a 25-year hiatus, they reunited in 1983. The game became an annual affair again in 1995, the two programs clashing every year through 2019 – also the most recent meeting. The Cup gets its name from Colorado’s nickname, the “Centennial State,” honoring its statehood, in 1876, coinciding with the 100-year anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Colorado has won 22 Cups vs. Colorado State’s eight, the Rams have dropped five straight, last winning in 2014.

The Florida Cup – FLORIDA/FLORIDA STATE/MIAMI FLA. – 2024/25

Awarded to the winner of the three-way battle between Florida, Florida State, and Miami Fla., the Florida Cup (also known as the “state championship of Florida”) was established in 2002 by the Florida Sports Foundation. Though the Cup is 21-years old, it’s only been presented six times – from 2002-04 and in 2008, 2013, and, most recently, in 2019. While Florida State meets Florida (a non-conference fixture) and Miami (as permanent ACC cross-division rivals) annually, the three-way rivalry has been hampered by the limited number of times the Gators have squared off with the Hurricanes. Miami won the first three Cups (2002-04) while Florida State (2013) and Florida (2008 and 2019) have captured the three most recent.

The Jefferson-Eppes Trophy – FLORIDA STATE vs. VIRGINIA2024, 2026

Dating to 1996, the Jefferson-Eppes was established by then FSU President Talbot D’Alemberte after, ironically, the Cavaliers’ first-ever win vs. the Seminoles in 1995. The game – then (24) Virginia edged (2) Florida State 33-28 in Charlottesville – snapped FSU’s 29-game ACC winning streak (the Seminoles joined the league in 1992). The Cavaliers would go on to lose the next nine games in the series, finally winning the Trophy for the first time in 2005. Though Florida State has won the Trophy 12 times vs. Virginia’s only three, the two have split the last four meetings with the Cavs winning the most recent game in 2019.

The Jefferson-Eppes is co-named for Thomas Jefferson (the founder of the University of Virginia and the third president of the United States) and Francis Eppes VII (the mayor of Tallahassee and president of the Board of Education that governed the institution that became Florida State). Its base is constructed of the remains of a tree – the McGuffey Ash – that stood on UVA’s campus from 1826-1990. Atop that is a silver pitcher that was given to Mayor Eppes by Tallahassee residents.

The Kuter Trophy – AIR FORCE vs. HAWAII2023/24, 2029/30, 2033/34, 2037/38

Introduced in 1980, the Kuter Trophy is named for General Laurence S. Kuter (1905-74), the first head of the Pacific Air Forces Command in 1957. “It is a striking tribute to the friendship between the schools and to the cooperation between the people of Hawaii and the Air Force.” The two programs shared membership in the WAC from 1980-97 and have both been members of the Mountain West since 2012. The Falcons have won 13 Trophies (including winning the most recent meeting in 2019) vs. the Rainbow Warriors’ seven.

The Little Brown Jug – MICHIGAN vs. MINNESOTA2023

The self-proclaimed “oldest trophy game in FBS college football” the Little Brown Jug debuted in 1909. Legend has it that the jug itself dates to 1903 when Minnesota – boasting a perfect 10-0 record – hosted a Michigan squad on a 29-game winning streak. Fielding Yost, the Wolverines’ head coach, doubted that the Golden Gophers would provide sanitary water for the visitors and had the team’s manager visit a Minneapolis store to purchase a five-gallon water jug. The game ended in a 6-6 tie with Minnesota scoring a touchdown on the final play. Pandemonium ensued and Michigan left the jug behind. The Gophers scooped it up, painted the score on it and hung it from the coaches’ office ceiling.

The two teams didn’t meet again until 1909, when the Wolverines made the trek back to Minneapolis, this time scoring a 15-6 win. Not only did the victory earn them the right to finally return home with their Jug – it kicked off a 108-year-old tradition. Michigan has won the vessel of victory 72 times vs. Minnesota’s 23 and have won nine of the last ten including the most recent meeting in 2020.

The Megaphone Trophy – MICHIGAN STATE vs. NOTRE DAME2026/27

The Irish and Spartans met consecutively from 1959-94 and 1997-2013 but have only played twice since, a home-and-home series in 2016/17. The Megaphone Trophy debuted in 1949, courtesy of the Detroit based alumni clubs of both schools. As advertised, the award is a megaphone, with a red stripe painted down the middle listing the years the two have met. Each team’s contribution to the score is painted on their side of the prize. Notre Dame leads the all-time series 47-29-1 and has won the Megaphone 35 times vs. Michigan State’s 27.

The MU/KU War Drum and The Lamar Hunt Trophy KANSAS vs. MISSOURI2025/26, 2031/32

After what will be a 14-year hiatus, the 2025 playing of the Border War will renew one of the longest-running rivalries in college football. Kansas and Missouri first played for a War Drum in 1937, a tradition that was paused for World War II and then renewed in 1947 until it was misplaced (and replaced) some 40 years later. The current version of the trophy – which is a bass drum – was introduced in 1999. Starting in 2007, the winner was also awarded the Lamar Hunt Trophy (also the name of the NFL’s AFC Championship trophy), in honor of the Kansas City Chief’s former owner’s attempts to have the rivalry game played at his Arrowhead Stadium. Missouri leads the all-time series 57-54-9 and has won three-straight.

The Paddlewheel Trophy – CINCINNATI vs. PITT2023/24

The prize awarded to the winner of the “River City Rivalry,” Cincinnati and Pitt first battled for the Paddlewheel in 2005. Both the trophy and the game pay homage to the shared connection as major cities on the Ohio river. Though the two met four times from 1921-81, the trophy didn’t enter the picture until Cincinnati signed on with the Big East. The duo clashed eight consecutive times as conference foes, each squad taking home the Paddlewheel four times. The active rivalry ended in 2013 when the Panthers joined the ACC and the Bearcats migrated to the American. The trophy itself – a functional ship’s telegraph that lights up with the annual winner’s logo – is a whopper, standing four feet tall and weighing in at almost 100 pounds. Pitt leads the all-time series 8-4 but Cincinnati has won two-straight and four of the last five. The two haven’t met since 2012.

The Seminole War Canoe – FLORIDA vs. MIAMI FLA. – 2024/25

From 1955 to approximately the early 80s, the winner of the Florida/Miami game was awarded the Seminole War Canoe – a six-foot long craft carved out of a 200-year old cypress tree that was struck by lightning. Though efforts have been made to renew the tradition, the Canoe currently resides in the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame.

Historical data courtesy of Sports Reference-College Football.

Comments (2)

The Air Force/Hawaii dates don’t look right, and in any case are heavily subject to change.

Hallo, Brendan Burke,

You can disprove or verify Amy Daughters Research by cross referencing her Source above.
I have used Sports Reference-College Football myself.
The other 2 reliable Sources are:
& Wikipedia.com.

1 of these 3 made a typographical Error one Time.

The other 2 Sources + archived Web Pages from the Team’s in Question Websites verified the korrekt Win or Loss.

When You use the Keywords from Ms. Daughters Source & my 2 you will easily access Uni. of Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors & Air Force Academy Falcons Headtohead Records.