April 25, 2009
The University of Illinois and Northwestern University announced today that the football series trophy going to the winner of their annual football game will be called the Land of Lincoln Trophy.
Fans of both schools had a chance to express their opinions in an online poll over the past several weeks, and using that information, the schools decided that the Land of Lincoln Trophy would best represent all citizens of the state, as the two schools are the only Big Ten institutions located in the state of Illinois. The new trophy also coincides with the celebration of Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday.
"We are pleased to announce the Land of Lincoln Trophy as the series trophy for the winner of the Illinois-Northwestern football game," said Ron Guenther, UI Director of Athletics. "Our players look forward to the in-state rivalry game with Northwestern each and every year, and the Land of Lincoln Trophy represents a tremendous tradition."
"To be certain, we are very excited to introduce the Land of Lincoln Trophy as our series rivalry prize," said Jim Phillips, Northwestern's director of athletics and recreation. "Northwestern versus Illinois is always a highly anticipated football game for our student-athletes and fans. The new trophy is symbolic for our great state and the two proud Big Ten institutions that reside in it."
The Land of Lincoln Trophy will replace the retired Sweet Sioux Tomahawk that was the series trophy from 1945-2008. The two institutions are also working together to create the new trophy with the first meeting for the Land of Lincoln Trophy scheduled for Nov. 14 in Champaign.