Playing for a plaque or bronze football is boring. Many college football rivalries play for some unique hardware. By Louis Ojeda Jr. / FOX Sports Southwest
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY SportsMatthew Emmons
Battle for The Rag - LSU vs. Tulane
It's no surprise that LSU has dominated this rivalry (69-22-7), but there's still something to play for when these two in-state schools meet on the football field. LSU and and Tulane have been playing each other since 1893 in what is known as the 'Battle for the Rag.' The satin flag was created in the 1940s and is referred to as the "Tiger Rag" at LSU and the "Victory Rag" at Tulane. The original rag is believed to have been destroyed in a fire in 1982. The 1982 game was also the last time the Green Wave beat the Tigers. A replacement flag was created in 2001, but the rivalry has been put on hold after the 2009 season.
Courtesy, Tulane Athletics
Milk Can - Boise State vs. Fresno State
California and Idaho are two of the top dairy producing states in the country. The Bronco Dairy Boosters gives money to Boise State, and the South Valley Dairy Group to the Fresno State. Two men, Dan Van Grouw and Roger Fluegel, from these organizations came up with the idea for the Milk Can trophy. The Broncos and Bulldogs have played each other annually since 2001, but the 2005 game was the first year the trophy was introduced.
Bronze Stalk - Ball State vs. Northern Illinois
There's not much history behind this one. Ball State and NIU have only been battling for the Bronze Stalk since 2008, but the series dates back to 1941. It's a unique design that represents the region of both schools. But it's not exactly the safest trophy to be running around the field with during the postgame celebration.
Courtesy, Ball State Athletics
Telephone Trophy - Iowa State vs. Missouri
The Telephone Trophy started after a communications malfunction at the 1959 game between Missouri and Iowa State. Before kickoff, the opposing coaches could hear each other on their headsets. But the Tigers and Cyclones won't be calling each other any time soon after Mizzou left the Big 12 for the SEC in 2012.
Courtesy, Iowa State Athletics
Keg of Nails - Louisville vs. Cincinnati
The Keg of Nails has been around since 1929. It is believed to have been started by fraternity chapters at both Cincinnati and Louisville. The idea is that the winning players are 'tough as nails.'
USA TODAY SportsFrank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
Battle for Paddle - Texas State vs. Nicholls State
The scheduled 1998 meeting in San Marcos, Texas was postponed due to severe floods, and the Paddle Trophy was created as a result. But the rivalry ended when Texas State made the jump from FCS to an FBS program in 2011.
Photo courtesy, Nicholls State Athletics
Illibuck - Illinois vs. Ohio State
The Illini-Buckeye trophy began with a live turtle in 1925. But after he died two years later, the tradition continued with an Illibuck made of wood. He's still one of the most popular trophies in college football and even has his own Twitter account @IllyIllibuck.
USA TODAY SportsJerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Chief Caddo - Northwestern State vs. Stephen F. Austin
At 7-foot-6 and more than 300 pounds, Chief Caddo is bigger than any player on the field and the tallest trophy in college football. The tradition between Stephen F. Austin and Northwestern State began in 1961. SFA lost the game and was forced to chop down a tree and send it to Northwestern State where it was carved into the statue.
Courtesy, Stephen F. Austin Athletics
Battle for the Iron Skillet - SMU vs. TCU
The tradition of the 'Battle For the Iron Skillet' began in 1946 to prevent vandalism by fans a year after more than $1,000 in damage had been done to both TCU and SMU campuses. But why a piece of cookware? There's a myth that it was sparked by an SMU fan who was frying frogs legs in a skillet at a tailgate. The tradition died over the years, but it was revived in 1993 with the introduction of a new Iron Skillet.
USA TODAY SportsJim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
Baird Brothers Trophy - Case Western Reserve vs. College of Wooster
Bob and Bill Baird were brothers and professors at Case Western Reserve and College of Wooster, respectively. They came up with the idea of awarding the winner of the rivalry with a golden fishing stringer with brass fish. Each fish represents a game in the series, but there won't be any new catches for the foreseeable future. The two schools met for the final time in 2012 due to scheduling conflicts.
Courtesy, Case Western Reserve Athletics
The Bronze Boot - Colorado State vs. Wyoming
The Bronze Boot's journey was much longer than just a trip between Wyoming and Colorado State. The boot was worn by CSU ROTC instructor Dan J. Romero in Vietnam, and in 1968 it became the official trophy in this rivalry that began in 1899.
USA TODAY SportsTroy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports
The Old Wagon Wheel - Utah State vs. BYU
The Old Wagon Wheel is a symbol of the region's 19th century pioneers. It became the traveling trophy between BYU and Utah State in 1948. The Aggies won last year's meeting, but the Cougars have dominated this rivalry recently with a 29-5 advantage since 1975.
Courtesy, Utah State Athletics
Dutchman's Shoes - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute vs. Union College
It's a Division III rivalry that began in 1886, but the Dutchman Shoes tradition didn't begin until 1950. A riot after the 1949 game between Union College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute led both school presidents to make a change. The Dutchman Shoes Trophy was created as a result.
Courtesy, Union College Athletics
Paul Bunyan Trophy - Michigan vs. Michigan State
Paul Bunyan is a part of two Big Ten rivalries. Wisconsin and Minnesota battle for his axe, while Michigan and Michigan State play for a statue of him. The folklore lumberjack represents the state of Michigan's rich history in producing lumber. The five-foot tall trophy was presented by the governor in 1953 -- Michigan State's first year in the Big Ten.
USA TODAY SportsAndrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Brice-Cowell Musket - New Hampshire vs. Maine
It's an old FCS rivalry with a trophy older than the game of football. New Hampshire and Maine have been battling for the Brice-Cowell Musket since 1903, but the musket itself was made in the 1700s. It is named after two former coaches from the early 20th century, Maine's Fred Brice, and UNH's William Cowell.
Courtesy, New Hampshire Athletics
Slab of Bacon/Paul Bunyan's Axe - Wisconsin vs. Minnesota
Wisconsin and Minnesota play for Paul Bunyan's Axe, but there was a time when these two rivals played for the 'Slab of Bacon.' After it was lost in the 1940s, the Axe was born and became the new official trophy. The Slab of Bacon was discovered in a storage room at Wisconsin nearly 50 years later. It's now on display at the Badgers' football office. Paul Bunyan's Axe one of college football's greatest traditions, but it would be great if they could bring back the Bacon.
uwbadgers.com, Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Golden Hat - Texas vs. Oklahoma
There are actually three trophies in the Red River Showdown, but the 'Golden Hat' is the one the players are eager to wear after a win. The Texas vs. Oklahoma rivalry has been played at the Cotton Bowl stadium in Dallas during the State Fair of Texas since 1929. The fair donated the trophy for the game in 1941. It was originally called the 'Bronze Hat' before being refurbished with a gold finish.