The Lambert Trophy is an annual award given to the best team in the East in Division I FBS (formerly I-A) college football. In affiliation with the Metropolitan New York Football Writers (founded 1935), the Lambert Trophy was established by brothers Victor and Henry Lambert in memory of their father, August. The Lamberts were the principals in a distinguished Madison Avenue jewelry house and were prominent college football boosters. The trophy, established in 1936 as the "Lambert Trophy" to recognize supremacy in Eastern college football, has since grown to recognize the best team in the East in Division I FBS. A set of parallel trophies collectively known as the Lambert Cup is awarded to teams in Division I FCS (formerly I-AA), Division II, and Division III. The Metropolitan New York Football Writers, owned and operated by American Football Networks, Inc., took the administration of the Lambert Meadowlands Awards back from the New Jersey Sports & Exhibition Authority in 2011.
In 2016, the Penn State Nittany Lions (2016 Big Ten Champions) won the trophy for a record 30th time. This is more than any other five teams combined. The most any other team has won is seven (Army).
Since 1936, there have been 19 different winners in Division I-A/FBS. To be eligible for the Lambert Award, a school must be located in the "East." Teams in the "East" include teams located in New York, New Jersey, New England, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia (although there are no FBS teams in Delaware nor Washington D.C., there are teams that compete at lower levels that can win the various Lambert Cup awards for their levels). Additionally, while the Big East Conference was a major football conference, members of that conference outside of the "East" were also made eligible if at least half their schedule was against Lambert-eligible teams. Therefore, while they were members of the "old" Big East Conference, Cincinnati, Louisville, Miami, and South Florida were also eligible, and three of the four won the award during that time.