Minnesota defeated Penn State 16-7 at the Metrodome in 2004
Like Floyd of Rosedale, Minnesota’s fourth and most recent traditional game trophy was founded by a pair of state governors.
Then-acting Governor Mark Singel of Pennsylvania and former Governor Arne Carlson of Minnesota established the Governor’s Victory Bell on Sept. 4, 1993, the date of the first Minnesota-Penn State game. The contest, which took place at Beaver Stadium on the Penn State campus, not only marked the first game between the two teams, but also signified the inaugural Big Ten game for the Nittany Lions.
“As the Nittany Lions’ initial conference opponent, Minnesota always will occupy a special place in Penn State football history, and we think it is appropriate to mark the occasion in this distinctive fashion,” said Singel in 1993. “Governor Robert Casey was an early supporter of Penn State’s move to the Big Ten Conference, and I know he looks forward to future conference games involving the Nittany Lions.”
“Big Ten athletics has been a tremendously positive experience in the life of our state,” said Carlson. “Minnesota’s matchup against Penn State is a historic welcome to a school that will further enrich that experience for all of us. This trophy marks a very special occasion, and will allow us to remember it for years to come.”
An artists’ conception of the Governor’s Victory Bell was presented by Singel and Carlson prior to the kickoff of that 1993 game, which Penn State won 38-20. The design of the trophy is a brass bell bearing the medallion of the Big Ten Conference, suspended from a wooden frame. At the top of the frame is a plaque which features the state seals of Minnesota and Pennsylvania, along with the following inscription:
Governor’s Victory Bell
Presented annually to the winner of the Penn State-Minnesota football game
Established September 4, 1993
Governor Robert Casey, Pennsylvania
Governor Arne Carlson, Minnesota
At the bottom of the base, the Minnesota and Penn State athletics logos appear, along with individual brass plates for inscription of the scores of the games between the two teams.
After a two year hiatus between 1995-96, the battle for the Governor’s Victory Bell returned in 1997 when Penn State earned a hard-fought 16-15 victory at Beaver Stadium. The 1998 game returned to the Metrodome for only the second time in the short history of the Bell, where the Nittany Lions earned a 27-17 win. Minnesota took the Victory Bell home for the first time in 1999 when the Golden Gophers scored a historic 24-23 upset over the second-ranked Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. In 2000, the Golden Gophers were again victorious, winning 25-16 at the Metrodome.
The Nittany Lions and Golden Gophers didn’t meet in 2001 and 2002 and when the series renewed in 2003, the Gophers earned the right to keep the Bell with a 20-14 win in Happy Valley. Penn State claimed the bell for the first time in six years with their 44-14 win over Minnesota in 2005 and retained it with a 28-27 overtime win over the Gophers in the Metrodome during the 2006 season. After a two-year hiatus, the series resumed in 2009 with a 20-0 Penn State victory in Happy Valley.
The addition of the Governor’s Victory Bell to the Golden Gophers’ list of traditional trophy games means that Minnesota has four active “trophy” rivalries on its schedule, more than any other college football program in the country.
1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010
1999, 2000, 2003, 2004