University of Minnesota


The oldest rivalry trophy in the Big Ten, and one of the oldest rivalry games in college football. The tradition of the Little Brown Jug began on October 31, 1903 when the powerhouse that was Michigan was unable to defeat Minnesota, ending the game in a tie.  Before the game, Michigan head coach, Fielding Yost had purchased a jug in a local Minneapolis convenience store to take his own water into the stadium, for fear that Gopher fans were planning to contaminate his drinking water.  After a tie game, Yost left his jug sitting on the sidelines that was later found by custodian Oscar Munson.  As a joke, Munson painted “Michigan Jug – Captured by Oscar, October 31, 1903,” and the score, “Minnesota 6, Michigan 6.”  Realizing he did not bring the jug home, he wrote a letter to the head of the Minnesota athletics department L.J. Cooke, asking for him to send him the jug.  Cooke replied, “We have your little brown jug.  If you want, you’ll have to win it”.    This started the tradition of winning the game for The Little Brown Jug.  Each meeting results in the final score being painted on the jug.