Top Five Big Ten Football Rivalries

Top Five Big Ten Football Rivalries

June is almost here, and football talk for 2012 is about to begin. A perfect time to go though some of the best rivalries the Big Ten has to offer. In the next five days I will go through the top five football rivalries in the conference. I’ll start with No. 5…

Since 1892 the Illini and Wildcats have taken to the gridiron to establish football dominance in the state of Illinois. The overall series belongs to Illinois with a 54-46-5 record, but Northwestern has had the upper hand lately with the Wildcat’s winning six out of the last nine meetings.

The Sweet Sioux Tomahawk was introduced to the Rivalry in 1945 with Northwestern claiming victory 13-7. However, Illinois won the overall trophy record at 33-29-2. In 2008 the Tomahawk was retired in Evanston with Northwestern winning the final game for the trophy. It was retired due to NCAA restrictions on Native American imagery.

In 2009 the Land of Lincoln Trophy took over for the retired Tomahawk. Illinois currently holds a 2-1 game advantage.

Although the Illinois vs. Northwestern rivalry is not of national prominence, it is a great matchup between two non-traditional powerhouses and in-state schools. And a great rivalry for the conference.

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