The Little Brown Jug Rivalry
The annual rivalry between the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers and University of Michigan Wolverines was first played on October 17, 1892. While that date alone makes it one of the nation’s oldest football rivalries, the story behind the Little Brown Jug shows how only college football can turn a 30-cent water jug into a priceless possession.

The Little Brown Jug’s legacy began in 1903. Coming into that year’s game in Minneapolis, Michigan was riding on a 29-game winning streak. The Wolverine’s coach, Fielding Yost, felt Minnesota might try to taint his team’s water supply to gain an unfair advantage. To protect his streak, Yost ordered his team manager to procure a five-gallon jug in order to keep his team’s water safe. But when Minnesota scored a tying touchdown late in the game, Gopher fans excitedly stormed the field and the game was called due to the chaos. In the Wolverine’s haste to make an exit, Yost and his team left behind their water jug. Minnesota’s equipment manager found the jug, presented it to the school’s athletic director, and the two had it painted to commemorate that game’s date and score.

Since 1909, Minnesota and Michigan have fought for possession of the Little Brown Jug, making it the oldest trophy game in FBS college football.