Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois v.s. Northwestern: A History

The Illinois Fighting Illini and Northwestern Wildcats will continue their Big Ten Conference schedule Saturday morning in Champaign. In recent years, Northwestern would be considered the heavy favorite in this game, but this year has been completely different as this weekend will be the Wildcats last chance to win a Big Ten game this season.

This Saturday’s game will be the 107th meeting between the Fighting Illini and the Wildcats with the first game dating back to 1892.

Originally, these two teams battled for the “”Sweet Sioux” Tomahawk starting with the 1947 meeting. The trophy lasted 62 years and ended with the final meeting for the Tomahawk in 2008. Illinois led the overall series for the Tomahawk by a 32-28-2 mark. However, the Wildcats won the final game for the Tomahawk in 2008 by a score of 27-10. The trophy was retired following the ’08 season.

Since then, the two teams have battled for a new trophy called the “Land of Lincoln” trophy (seen above).

“The Land of Lincoln Trophy was chosen by fans of both schools in 2009 in an online vote to replace the 62-year-old Tomahawk Trophy” (Source:

The series for the Land of Lincoln Trophy has been even at 2-2 with the Wildcats winning the trophy last season by a score of 50-14 in Evanston.

However, this year’s battle for the trophy will take place in Champaign where the Illini are 26-20-2 against the Wildcats. According to, “the series has been remarkably even in games played in Champaign lately, with the teams splitting the last 10 meetings at Memorial Stadium 5-5.”

Illinois leads the overall series 54-47-5.

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Tags: Football Illinois Fighting Illini Land Of Lincoln Trophy

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