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The Illibuck is one of the most lopsided rivalry trophy series in the Big Ten

There are 15 rivalry trophies in the Big Ten. Few of those series are more lopsided than Ohio State’s regular dominance over Illinois for the Illibuck.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Ohio State Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

It was a big game whenever Red Grange walked into the Horseshoe. But this Saturday in November of 1925 would be different; it would be Grange’s last in a collegiate uniform. Neither team was spectacular — Illinois and Ohio State were not in contention for a conference title. And while the Galloping Ghost was en-route to another All-American year at halfback, the Illini entered the contest with a ho-hum 4-3 record. Ohio State sat at 4-2-1.

But the greater legacy of that day wouldn’t be the performance of Grange, who snagged two interceptions — including on the last play at midfield to seal the game. It wouldn't be that the Illini triumphed 14-9. It wouldn’t be the huge crowd of 84,295 that jammed The ‘Shoe to see the last go of the Ghost on senior day. It would be a turtle who made its first-ever appearance.

That turtle, alive at the time, was Illibuck. And that season, in Grange's last collegiate game, was the first time the victor of OSU-Illinois received the prize. Chosen to represent the long life of the rivalry, Illibuck died two years later. And with Grange graduated, the competitiveness of the rivalry soon suffered the same fate.

Including pre-trophy era games, Ohio State has dominated the all-time series with Illinois with a mark of 67 wins, 30 losses, and four ties. To put that in perspective, in the Big Ten there are 15 rivalry trophies — and comparing the all-time series histories, Ohio State-Illinois is the third most lopsided among them.

All-Time Series History - Big Ten Rivalry Trophy Games

Teams Trophy First Year of Series All-Time Series History (Win, Loss, Tie) Winning %
Teams Trophy First Year of Series All-Time Series History (Win, Loss, Tie) Winning %
Michigan vs. Minnesota Little Brown Jug 1892 Michigan leads 75, 25, 3 74%
Indiana vs. Michigan State Old Brass Spittoon 1922 Michigan State leads, 46, 16, 2 73%
Illinois vs. Ohio State Illibuck 1902 Ohio State leads, 67, 30, 4 68%
Nebraska vs. Wisconsin Freedom Trophy 1901 Wisconsin leads, 8, 4 66%
Iowa vs. Nebraska Heroes Trophy 1891 Nebraska leads, 29, 15, 3 65%
Michigan vs. Michigan State Paul Bunyan Trophy 1898 Michigan leads, 69, 36, 5 65%
Minnesota vs. Penn State Governor's Victory Bell 1993 Penn State leads, 9, 5 64%
Indiana vs. Purdue Old Oaken Bucket 1891 Purdue leads, 72, 41, 6 63%
Iowa vs. Minnesota Floyd of Rosedale 1891 Minnesota leads, 62, 47, 2 57%
Minnesota vs. Nebraska $5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy 1900 Minnesota leads, 32, 24, 2 57%
Illinois vs. Northwestern Land of Lincoln Trophy 1892 Illinois leads, 55, 50, 5 52%
Iowa vs. Wisconsin Heartland Trophy 1894 Wisconsin leads, 46, 43, 2 52%
Michigan State vs. Penn State Land Grant Trophy 1914 Michigan State leads, 16, 15, 1 52%
Illinois vs. Purdue Purdue Cannon 1890 Illinois leads, 44, 43, 6 50%
Minnesota vs. Wisconsin Paul Bunyan's Axe 1890 Series tied, 59, 59, 8 50%

With the Buckeyes winning 68% of the time against Illinois, only the Little Brown Jug between Michigan and Minnesota, and the Old Brass Spittoon between Indiana and Michigan State have been more one-sided.

Ohio State has not lost to Illinois since 2007. With the Buckeyes favored by more than 40 points Saturday, the series is set again to live up to form with Illibuck remaining a long-time resident of Columbus.