Mobile Tour: Historic B1G Rivalries -- The Little Brown Jug

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So it's just a little, brown jug? No shiny metal? AND it's over 100 years old? And people actually care about this?

Well, here at Michigan and in Minneapolis the Little Brown Jug means a lot more than what may show on the surface. It is the oldest rivalry trophy in college football, dating back to when it was first bought by Michigan team manager, Tommy Roberts, before the 1903 matchup at Minnesota.

Michigan's unbeatable squad of the early twentieth century, coming into the game on a 29-game winning streak, faced off head-to-head with a 10-0 Minnesota squad. Michigan head coach of the time, Fielding Yost, afraid that the Gophers would try to tamper with the Wolverine water supply, sent Roberts out to purchase a 30 cent jug for the Michigan players to use as a water receptacle.

Near the end of the game, which was tied up, 6-6, late by Minnesota, the fans rushed the field, causing the contest to be called early. Yost and the Wolverines left the jug behind in the crowd. After the jug was recovered by the Minnesota Athletic Department, Yost asked for the jug back, to which L.J. Cooke, the Minnesota Athletic Director, said, "If you want it, you'll have to come up and win it."

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The two teams did not square off again until 1909, when Michigan rightfully won their jug back. From that game on, the winner of the historic Big Ten rivalry claims the Little Brown Jug as their own, taking it back to campus and keeping it under lock and key.

In 2008, the last time these two schools met up before a two-year drought, Michigan claimed the Little Brown Jug in a 29-6 victory in Minneapolis. Head equipment manager, Jon Falk, transported the trophy to Schembechler Hall, where it has resided since.

This Saturday will mark the 92nd meeting between the two schools for the Little Brown Jug, including the inaugural 1903 game, with Michigan leading 66-22-3. But this game to these teams means just as much as it ever has.

Earlier in the week at a press conference, Michigan head coach Brady Hoke said about the rivalry, "Once again, it's one of those important traditions when you're involved with the University of Michigan football team. We talked about the history, we talked about it's the oldest trophy when you look at trophy games in the history of college football. It was the first. It means an awful a lot. We want to keep it in Ann Arbor."

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The No. 19 Wolverines are the favorite heading into this season's game, but as history has shown, it's anyone's contest when the Little Brown Jug is on the line!

Interesting links for more information on the Little Brown Jug rivalry:

MGoBlue.com Write-Up

Michigan -- Jon Falk Video

Minnesota Write-Up

...and as always, GO BLUE!
 






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