Already playing for control of the West Division when the two schools meet this Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium (2:30 p.m. on ABC), the Freedom Trophy will be on the line for the first time.
“Trophy games are part of the tradition of college football, and I’m thrilled that we’re going to be introducing one into our rivalry with Nebraska,” Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez said in a statement. “The Freedom Trophy brings recognition to two historic football venues and it honors our nation’s veterans. It is something I know the coaches, student-athletes and fans of both programs will embrace for years to come.”
The Freedom Trophy, designed and sculpted by Harry Weber of Wright City, Missouri, features a bronze football stadium with an American flag extending from the center. One half of the outside of the stadium depicts the North section of Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium (built in 1917) and the other half the East side of Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium (1923).
The stadium and flag sculpture sits on top of a wooden base that has dedicated space for future Wisconsin-Nebraska game scores. With the Big Ten establishing East and West divisions for football prior to this season, the Huskers and Badgers will now play each other every year as members of the West Division.
“We are honored to partner with Wisconsin in an annual Freedom Trophy game, as both of our football programs and stadiums have rich histories and traditions,” Nebraska Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst said in a statement. “The Freedom Trophy provides a unique opportunity for us to pay special tribute to the brave men and women who have and will continue to defend our nation's freedom."
The base also contains an identical inscription on two sides that reads:
“The Freedom Trophy pays tribute to the brave men and women who have fought in our nation’s wars. The University of Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium, built on what was once a Civil War training ground, and the University of Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium, dedicated in honor of our nation’s veterans, stand as proud monuments to those who have sacrificed so much in the name of freedom.”
Since 1901, Wisconsin and Nebraska have met a total of eight times on the football field with each school winning four games. Since Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011, Wisconsin leads the series 2-1. The Badgers won the most recent meeting, 70-31, in the 2012 Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis.