Number four on our list of the top football rivalries in the Big Ten brings us to the battle between Indiana and Purdue for the Old Oaken Bucket.
With the first game held in 1891, the Indiana vs. Purdue football game is one of the oldest rivalries in college football history.
In 1925, the rivalry was taken to a new level when Chicago chapter alumni from both schools decided to provide a traveling trophy to the winner of the annual contest. They decided on an oak bucket.
Since the Old Oaken Bucket was introduced, the winner of the game has added either a bronze block “I” or “P” to the trophy, making a bronze chain extending from the bucket. In a result of a tie, a “I-P” link is added. The first “Bucket Game” ended in a tie. Since then, Purdue has owned the series and trophy with an overall record of 71-37-6.
Although Purdue has been the dominant player in this rivalry, it has not taken away from the competition on the field.
The game does not have much prestige outside of the conference due to both Indiana and Purdue being historically “middle-of-the-road” football programs. Although the football rivalry is greatly overshadowed by the basketball matchup between these schools, it is a great rivalry in its own right. Having the privilege of attending this rivalry, I can confidently say that you would be hard pressed to find an atmosphere that matches the aura of this game.
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