For the BYU football team, there isn't much better than winning the Beehive Boot or, as Cougar fans hope is the case Saturday night, the Old Wagon Wheel.
One of the great things about college football is the rivalries. With many rivalries comes a trophy. But these trophies aren't made of silver or gold. Many times these trophies were everyday items that are now cherished by universities.
The Old Wagon Wheel
The Old Wagon Wheel became a part of the BYU-Utah State rivalry in 1948. Awarded by the Blue Key fraternities of the two schools, the Aggies took it home the first year after a 20-7 defeat of the Cougars. Since 1948, the wheel has covered many a mile between the two schools as their rivalry has grown.
Although Utah State dominated the early years of the wheel's existence, taking 18 of the first 27 victories where the wheel was at stake, the tables have turned in recent decades as the BYU football team has taken its place among college football's elite. The series now stands 48-37-3 in favor of the Cougars.
Winning the wheel on the field is only a small part of the battle between the two schools. Although not practiced anymore, the more entertaining tradition surrounding the wheel is its theft. In years past, the losing school has often sought to reclaim the trophy through less-than-legal means. Despite being done in the "all-in-good-fun" spirit, this tradition has had its share of problems. The wheel has disappeared for years at a time after being taken by parties with no affiliation to either school.
The Beehive Boot
First instituted in 1971, the Beehive Boot is the symbol of gridiron supremacy in the state of Utah. The idea for the rotating trophy originated with Dave Schulthess, former Sports Information Director of BYU, and was agreed upon by SIDs from Utah, Utah State and Weber State. As the trophy would represent dominance within the confines of the Beehive State, it was decided that the trophy should be symbolic of the people who built Utah - the Mormon pioneers.
Finding a suitable pioneer boot for use as a trophy proved to be a difficult task. As pioneers wore their boots until there simply wasn't much left of them, there weren't many pioneer boots lying around. After an arduous search that included numerous personal calls and radio announcements, Tom Beasley, an antique dealer living in Cache Valley donated a pair of boots for use as the trophy. Estimated to be more than 100 years old, the Beehive Boot is an authentic piece of Utah history.
Awarded to the team with the best record against in-state opponents, the Beehive Boot lived its first four years at Utah State University. BYU then began a dominant run as it ascended into the realm of football's elite, claiming the Boot 20 times since 1971. The Cougars retrieved the boot in 2006, the first time since 2001, after the boot resided at the University of Utah for four years, where it is currently.
Paul Bunyan's Axe
Given to the winner of the Wisconsin-Minnesota football game, Paul Bunyan's Axe dates back to 1890.
The Victory Bell
The winner of the annual USC-UCLA football game, perhaps America’s greatest crosstown rivalry, is given year-long possession of the Victory Bell.
The 295-pound bell originally clanged from atop a Southern Pacific freight locomotive. It was given to UCLA in 1939 as a gift from the UCLA Alumni Association.
The Apple Cup
Washington and Washington State play for the Apple Cup every year.
Oil Can - Fresno State vs. San Diego State
Old Oaken Bucket - Indiana vs. Purdue
Cy-Hawk Trophy - Iowa vs Iowa State
Gold Cowbell - Georgia Tech vs. Vanderbilt
The Stanford Axe - Stanford vs. Cal
Golden Boot - Arkansas vs. LSU
Seminole War Canoe - Florida State vs. Miani (FL)
The Egg Bowl - Alabama vs. Auburn