Ranking the top 5 trophies in SEC games
The color and pageantry, it’s what separates college football from any other sport in America. From tailgating to uniform combinations, marching bands to cheerleaders, college football leads the pack with the kind of unbridled enthusiasm not equally captured.
Trophy games only add to the flavor of the overall deliciousness that is college football. And while no further incentive is needed to enhance the greatest game in sport, it nevertheless succeeds in doing so.
In ranking the top five trophy games in SEC games, we take into consideration uniqueness, importance and any other factor that might add to the overall awesomeness of it.
1. Egg Bowl – Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State
Is it a football. Is it an egg? Regardless, the Egg Bowl is (apologies to the Rose Bowl) the granddaddy of them all. Since 1927, the Rebels and the Bulldogs have been duking it out for the “Golden Egg,” a large football-shaped piece mounted to a wooden base. See, footballs back in the “Roaring ’20s” were much rounder and looked very much like the breakfast food; hence the name. This has been the fiercest rivalry in the SEC where two teams historically have had nothing else to play for. Maintaining that level of intensity in those circumstances, year after year after year, garnered major points in these rankings.
Despite some rumors, the prize will not be getting a facelift.
new egg bowl trophy design pic.twitter.com/UWUWuSLCq3
— Hunter Traffica (@Htraffica) October 23, 2016
2. Golden Boot – LSU vs. Arkansas
Since 1992, the SEC has tried desperately to make this into a rivalry … to no avail. Not even this monstrosity of a trophy could lift this game into relevancy. Thankfully, Texas A&M stepped up, joined the conference and put this failed rivalry out of its misery. But “The Boot” is a trophy that outlines the two states represented. Four feet of 24-karat gold, weighing in at 175 pounds at an expense of $10,000, this trophy deserves better than to be awarded to the winner of this stinker of a game.
“It kind of looks like a bad neck chain from the 80s."
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 11, 2016
3. Foy-ODK Sportsmanship – Alabama vs. Auburn
Since 1948, the Foy-ODK Sportsmanship Trophy has gone to the winner of this monumental clash each year. Never hear of it? You’re not alone. Named for Dean James E. Foy, who served at both schools, and their chapters of Omicron Delta Kappa, the trophy has been far overshadowed by the importance of the game itself. And that is really the only reason to rank it so highly. The significance of this game year in and year out needs no further explanation here.
Back to the trophy — it’s rendered irrelevant outside the state of Alabama by the fact that it isn’t even presented following the game: major deduction there. Instead, it is presented to the winning team by the losing team when the two meet on the basketball court. Say what?
— Gary L. Harris (@garyharris_wvua) February 28, 2016
4. Okefenokee Oar – Georgia vs. Florida
The newest of the trophies, the 10-foot-long oar, carved from the remains of a 1,000-year-old cypress tree from the Okefenokee Swamp that serves as a border for the two states, has gone to the winning team’s student body president since 2009. Great name, but if we want to make America great again, demanding trophies be presented after the trophy game is the only way to go.
— Okefenokee Oar (@OkefenokeeOar) October 28, 2016
5. Magnolia Bowl – LSU vs. Ole Miss
This rivalry has been among the most heated in the SEC over the years. Perhaps not so much in recent years, but back in the 1950s-70s, this was as big a rivalry as there was in the SEC. However, it wasn’t until 2008 that the student bodies from each school decided to spice up the once-proud rivalry with an official name for the game, representing the state flower of each and a trophy. These teams have been playing each other since 1894, so why it took more than 100 years to come up with a trophy is anyone’s guess.
— Emily Villere Dixon (@emilyvdixon) October 23, 2016
Palmetto Bowl – South Carolina vs. Clemson
For some 30 years, these two state rivals played for the Hardee’s Trophy. But in 2014, it dropped the corporate name and is now simply known as The Palmetto Bowl.
— TigerNet.com (@ClemsonTigerNet) November 27, 2015
Florida Cup – Florida, FSU, Miami
Never heard of it? With good reason. It’s only handed out in years where all three teams play each other. It was started in 2002 and last presented in 2013. Miami has won the trophy three times while both Florida and FSU have captured it once each. The hardware stands two feet tall with a solid cherry base and a football atop three swirling pillars made of silver-plated solid brass.
The three teams aren’t scheduled to play each other again until 2019. Tiebreaking procedures are complicated. They involve fewest points allowed to most points scored against the team not involved in the tiebreaker. And if all else fails, the team kicking wide right is automatically eliminated … OK we made up that last one.
Governor’s Cup – Kentucky vs. Louisville
Since 1994, this boring and unimaginative trophy game name has done nothing to enhance an ambiguous rivalry (14-14 all-time).
Governor’s Cup – Georgia vs. Georgia Tech
You serious, Clark? Take the most unimaginative name possible for a trophy game, and copy it? What where they thinking? Since 1995, the Governor’s Cup has gone to the winner of Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. Now there’s a name for a trophy game.