The history of the Paul Bunyan trophy, awarded to the winner of Michigan vs. Michigan State

paul bunyan.jpg
Posted at 12:39 PM, Oct 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-28 12:41:50-04

(WXYZ) — The Paul Bunyan Trophy will be up for grabs on Saturday when Michigan and Michigan State face off at Spartan Stadium.

Related: Michigan vs. Michigan State: Everything you need to know about the game, parking, traffic & more

The Spartans currently hold the trophy after an upset victory over the Wolverines last season on Halloween.

Related: From 'little brother' to 'trouble with a snap,' a history of the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry

The trophy is known officially as the Paul Bunyan – Governor of Michigan Trophy. According to the University of Michigan, it was first presented in 1953 in the game between the Wolverines and Spartans.

Michigan Gov. G. Mennen Williams put the trophy into circulation. It's four feet tall and made of wood, showing Paul Bunyan with an axe and feet planted on the state of Michigan.

Two flags – one with the Michigan "M" and the Michigan State "S" are on either side of Bunyan, and a five-foot stand supports the statue.

The Spartans won the first-ever game with the trophy, 14-6 over Michigan in East Lansing. U of M won the trophy 13 of 14 times from the 1970s to mid-1980s.