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The Southwest Conference may be in transition, but old rivalries in the conference—nowhere more intense than on the playing field—endure in its trophies. As tangible symbols of an untarnished ideal of physical prowess, these awards also hold their own as an art form. The trophies shown on the following pages don’t necessarily represent well-known athletic conquests. Some are so ancient that both the winner and the achievement have been long forgotten. As each season passes and glory days recede, most universities end up with more awards than they can possibly show off. Up-to-date plastic and composite-wood versions edge out their glamorous silver or bronze predecessors on the shelves.

In some instances old loving cups are crammed into boxes, lie neglected in storage closets, or collect dust in secluded display cases. By dusting the trophies off and shining them up, we recall an era when good sports always won and victories were always brilliant.