The Old Brass Spittoon trophy is the only award handed each year in the event of the Indiana University versus Michigan State University football match. The first time that the odd trophy was presented to the team that won the Big Ten Conference rivalry game was in 1950, when Michigan State University (MSU) won the game. Michigan State University (MSU) Spartans defeated the Indiana University (IU) Hoosiers in the very first of many games between the two schools with a rich history.
Although the person SPBO who is who gave the award its distinctive name remains an open question college football records mention that the concept for the annual trophy that travels was first proposed to one of Michigan State Spartans. The concept behind a traveling trophy is that every year, the trophy is being loaned to the team that has most recently was the winner of the head to head contest between the two schools competing to win the trophy. Each time the two teams play to play again, it is the duty of the previous season’s winner to take their trophy with them to each match in the event that the champion who is defending the trophy falls short in the most recent match, they will have to surrender the trophy to their rival until the trophy is used in the coming season.
The idea of trophies that travel to honor specific rivalries is a concept that is not only restricted to football in college, but because of how the sport is played it is quite commonplace in the sport. Due to the nature of scheduling of the game in college football, teams usually meet at least once per year. A format of scheduling that demands that they play only once per year is perfect for a travelling trophy such as that of the Old Brass Spittoon. Another reason why this particular design is widespread in the sport of football in the collegiate level is that the youthful exuberance of college players makes it easy to enjoy the lighthearted styles of trophy design that have become popular, i.e. The Old Brass Spittoon shaped trophy. The physical relationship of many college rivalries creates an atmosphere that is ripe for hostile attitudes towards states that are neighboring.
In the 53 games which have occurred in between Indiana Hoosiers and the Michigan State Spartans since the Old Brass Spittoon trophy was first introduced, the Spartans have a clear lead in the series having won 41 times. In contrast, the Indiana University program on the contrary, has about one quarter of the wins as their counterpart with just 11. In the 53 games played over the course of 59 years, there was only one tie. The tie was played in 1977.