Victory Bell (North Carolina–Duke)
|Teams||Duke Blue Devils
North Carolina Tar Heels
|Trophy Series||North Carolina leads 43–22–1 (two North Carolina wins vacated)|
|Current Holder||North Carolina (2015)|
The Victory Bell is the traveling trophy given to the winner of the annual football game between the Duke University Blue Devils and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. The game is worth two points in the yearlong Carlyle Cup between the two schools. North Carolina leads the series 42–22–1, with two wins vacated by North Carolina.
North Carolina and Duke first met in football in 1888, and the series has been renewed annually since 1922.
Two cheerleaders, Loring Jones of Duke and Norman Sper of North Carolina, were influential in the concept of the Victory Bell. Jones designed the model and Sper obtained the Bell from an old railroad train. North Carolina won possession of the first ever Victory Bell game with a 20–0 shutout victory at Kenan Memorial Stadium in 1948.
At one time, the series was every bit as heated as the basketball rivalry between the two schools. However, in recent years North Carolina has dominated the rivalry. The Tar Heels have won all but three of the last 25 meetings on the field, including 13 in a row from 1990 to 2002. When Duke won the 2012 and 2013 games, it marked the first time that Duke won consecutive games in the series since winning three straight from 1987 to 1989.
It has been a tradition as of late for the winner to spray-paint the platform of the trophy to match their school colors--Carolina blue for North Carolina and royal blue for Duke. After losing the Victory Bell in 2003, North Carolina came back the next year and beat Duke 40–17 in Duke's Wallace Wade Stadium. After the conclusion of the game, North Carolina football players immediately spray-painted the platform Carolina blue, leaving large amounts of Carolina blue paint residue on the track of the stadium. Whenever North Carolina has been in possession of the Victory Bell, cheerleaders wheel it out while ringing the bell at the same time the live ram mascot, Rameses, is brought out onto the field. The bell is also displayed in front of the students' section.
While the two schools agree that North Carolina leads the series, they do not agree on the overall record. This is due to an 1889 game where both teams stayed home because they believed they were the home team. As a result, both schools claim the game as a win by forfeit.
North Carolina claims an all-time lead of 59–37–4, a claim supported by most neutral recordkeepers. Duke claims North Carolina leads 58–38–4. Both schools agree that North Carolina vacated its wins in 2008 and 2009. Both schools also agree that North Carolina leads the series since the introduction of the Victory Bell with a record of 43–22–1, with two vacated North Carolina wins.
Note: Duke was known as Trinity College until 1924.
† Both schools claim this game as a win by forfeit; most neutral recordkeepers credit the game to North Carolina.
‡ North Carolina vacated wins from the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
- "The 120 Years War". Duke Office of News and Communications. November 28, 2008. Retrieved November 30, 2008.
- DeLassus, David. "North Carolina vs Duke (NC)". North Carolina Game by Game against Opponents. College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved November 30, 2008.
- Blank, Daniel (November 22, 2004). "Tar Heels ring bell by defeating Duke". The Daily Tar Heel. Retrieved November 30, 2008.
- 2011 North Carolina Football Media Guide], p. 173-174
- 2011 Duke Football Media Guide, p. 92