Doc 5: Top five trophies in college football - No. 4 The Illibuck Trophy

Nick Bromberg
Ohio State offensive linesman Jack Mewhort (74) celebrates with the wooden turtle trophy named Illibuck after beating Illinois during an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Champaign, Ill. Ohio State won the game 60-35. Illibuck is a carved wooden turtle that serves as the trophy awarded to the winner of the game since 1925. (AP Photo/Jeff Haynes)

This offseason we will count down various topics from Monday through Friday, bringing you the top five of the important and definitely some not so important issues in college football. It's the Doc Five, every week until we will thankfully have actual games to discuss.

With the Stanley Cup getting underway last week, we were thinking about some of the best trophies in sports. Of course, we were specifically thinking of the many trophies that are awarded to teams in rivalry games across the country. Instead of showcasing the best ones, we decided to look at the worst ones, culminating with the Milk Can from that is awarded to the winner of the Boise State-Fresno State game.

With those wacky trophies out of the way, we felt like it was only right to keep the trophy theme going with the best trophies in college football.

There are dozens and dozens to choose from, but we managed to narrow it down to a top five after careful consideration.

Let’s get started.


No. 4 - Illibuck Trophy

Who doesn't love turtles?

The Illibuck Trophy is the trophy given to the winner of the Illinois-Ohio State game. (See why it has its name?) It's a wooden turtle that has the scores of each game inscribed on the turtle's shell.

It was once a live turtle too. The turtle was chosen because of the animal's long lifespan as a symbol of the rivalry and the live turtle was first used in 1925. However, the whole "long lifespan" thing didn't really work out. The turtle died in 1927, so it was replaced by a wooden turtle that's nicknamed Illy Illibuck. That's probably a good idea. Could you imagine on-field celebrations with a live turtle?

However, carving the scores of games in the shell of a live turtle would not be advisable. Because the scores are marked on the trophy, the rivalry is currently on the ninth version of the Illibuck. It's small enough to be carried, you know. It's not the size of a Galapagos Islad turtle. (Though we'll fully admit that if it was we'd put it as No. 1 in this list)

But if it was monstrous it may lose some of its charm. It's a great trophy because it's simple, looks classy, and is incredibly unique. You're going to notice a wooden turtle in a trophy case and wonder what it's associated with.

Recently, it's been associated a lot with Ohio State. Illinois' last victory in the rivalry was in 2007. The combined margin of victory in those last six games? 213-97. Illinois, you need to step up to the plate to regain your turtle.

Though the almost-annual rivalry is about to become not-so-annual with the expansion of the Big Ten. Because the conference is set to have 14 teams in 2014, Illinois is in the West and Ohio State is in the East. That means the teams will play once every four years, though it shouldn't diminish the awesomeness of the trophy.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!