The Big Ten has all the best rivalry trophies. Saturday, Minnesota and Wisconsin are playing for Paul Bunyan's Axe, which replaced the far superior Slab of Bacon and is not to be confused with the Paul Bunyan Trophy, which goes to the winner of Saturday's Michigan-Michigan State game. In November, the Golden Gophers will face Iowa for the Floyd of Rosedale, a gilded sculpture of a prize hog. Indiana and Michigan State play for the Old Brass Spittoon. Indiana and Purdue play for the Old Oaken Bucket.
The other conferences need to get in on this act. Sure, Texas and Oklahoma play for the Golden Hat and Louisville and Cincinnati play for the Keg of Nails, but certainly there are more annual matchups deserving of a trophy.
The Lush Pinot with a Fruit-Forward Nose and Hints of Oak and Spice Trophy
Rivals: Cal and Oregon
The name sounds unwieldy, but it's either this or a trophy made of recycled Zig Zag rolling papers. If Toledo and Bowling Green can play for the Peace Pipe, two of the nation's most granola-heavy schools can play for the Burnt Joint.
The Bronze Parking Decal
Rivals: Florida Atlantic vs. Florida International
South Florida is the reigning king of commuter-school football in the Sunshine State, but these two conference rivals are getting better. They should pay tribute to their students, who spend most Saturdays watching Florida, Florida State or Miami.
Matthew McConaughey's Non-Existent Shirt
Rivals: Texas and Texas A&M
Anything beats the rivalry's current name, the State Farm Lone Star Showdown.
The Golden Jean Shorts
Rivals: Florida and South Carolina
The least fashionable fan bases in the SEC deserve recognition. Plus, since Florida almost always wins, the trophy will reside most years in jorts Mecca.
Rivals: Alabama-Birmingham and Memphis
The fiercest arguments in this part of the country involve either barbecue or football. Why not combine both and award a golden rack of ribs to the winner? Wait a second. This actually exists? I have a new favorite rivalry.