Illibuck Trophy

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Battle for the Illibuck[1]
Illinois Block I.png 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes logo.svg
Illinois Fighting Illini Ohio State Buckeyes

Series record Ohio State leads, 66*–30–4
*2010 vacated win not included
Trophy series record Ohio State leads, 62*–23–2
*2010 vacated win not included
First meeting 1902
Tie, 0–0
Last meeting 2014
Ohio State, 55-14
Current win streak Ohio State, 6*
*2010 vacated win not included
Trophy Illibuck

The Illibuck Trophy is the centerpiece of an American college football rivalry between the Illinois Fighting Illini football team of the University of Illinois and Ohio State Buckeyes football team of Ohio State University, with the winner of their game receiving said trophy.

The Illibuck is a carved wooden turtle that serves as the trophy awarded to the winner of the game. Two junior honorary societies, Bucket and Dipper of Ohio State and Atius-Sachem of Illinois, are responsible for the care of the Illibuck. Originally the "trophy" was a live turtle when the tradition began in 1925, picked for its expected long life as a symbol of the anticipated long life of the rivalry. From 1919 to 1933, the Illinois–Ohio State game was the regular-season finale for both teams. Since the original turtle's death in 1927, ten wooden replica Illibucks have been carved, each with the scores from games on its back.[2] The Illibuck is the second oldest trophy passed between Big Ten Conference football programs (the Little Brown Jug was created in 1903).

The winning team in the Illinois–Ohio State game receives this wooden turtle, named the Illibuck.

The rivalry once included the smoking of a peace pipe between members of the two junior honorary societies, which occurred at halftime of the game. This practice has not been done for many years. However, the trophy is still presented to the winning school of the previous year's contest between quarters.

The series was temporarily interrupted during the 2003 and 2004 seasons when Ohio State and Illinois did not play each other. When the teams met in 2005, Illinois presented the trophy to Ohio State for winning the BCS National Championship in 2002. Ohio State leads the overall series 66–30–4 and the trophy series 62–23–2.

In 2011, the Big Ten expanded to 12 teams and split into two divisions. Ohio State and Illinois were both placed in the Leaders Division, meaning they would play each other every year. But in 2014, the league will expand to accommodate the addition of Maryland and Rutgers, which will place Illinois in the West Division and Ohio State in the East Division.[3] An annual matchup between the schools will no longer happen with this format, although the teams are guaranteed to meet at least once within a four-year span.

Game results[edit]

Years of an Illinois victory are in orange. Years of an Ohio State victory are in scarlet. Years of a tie or vacated victory by either team are in white.

Pre-Illibuck era (1902–24)[edit]

Year Illinois Ohio State Location
1902 Illinois 0 Ohio State 0 Columbus
1904 Illinois 46 Ohio State 0 Columbus
1914 Illinois 37 Ohio State 0 Champaign
1915 Illinois 3 Ohio State 3 Columbus
1916 Illinois 6 Ohio State 7 Champaign
1917 Illinois 0 Ohio State 13 Columbus
1918 Illinois 13 Ohio State 0 Champaign
1919 Illinois 9 Ohio State 7 Columbus
1920 Illinois 0 Ohio State 7 Champaign
1921 Illinois 7 Ohio State 0 Columbus
1922 Illinois 3 Ohio State 6 Champaign
1923 Illinois 9 Ohio State 0 Columbus
1924 Illinois 7 Ohio State 0 Champaign

Illibuck era (1925–present)[edit]

  • Ohio State's 2010 victory in the series was vacated as a result of the Buckeyes' use of ineligible players.