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The most sought-after award of college football teams across the country, the Sears Trophy is the reward for an outstanding season. Nothing makes that championship feeling hit home quite like the sparkling crystal football that will be presented following the FedEx Orange Bowl.

Awarded to the No. 1 ranked Division I-A college football team in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Coaches Poll since 1993, the Sears Trophy is presented on-field to the winner of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) National Championship Game.

The Sears Trophy tours across the country during each college football season and is displayed on the sidelines at premier games. Each year since the trophy tour began in 1993, the eventual national champion has played at least one regular season game with the Sears Trophy present. The trophy is presented for permanent display to the winning team in January.

A widely recognized symbol of excellence, some fans have taken to producing imitations of the Sears Trophy to show off in the stands during games. ESPN analyst Lee Corso, who often uses decorative headgear to announce his game predictions, wore a foam replica of the trophy on his head on the network's Sugar Bowl pre-game special.

The Sears Trophy traveled nearly 10,000 miles and appeared before more than 500,000 fans at college football games in 1999. The largest crowd ever for a game featuring the Sears Trophy was 111,523 set at last season's Notre Dame-Michigan contest (Sept. 4 at Ann Arbor, Mich.). In all, more than three million fans have attended games featuring the trophy since 1993.


Stunning to look at, the Sears Trophy is hand-crafted by Waterford Crystal and insured for $30,000. The crystal football that sits atop the Sears Trophy takes an artisan at Waterford three months to create. Sears and the AFCA also present a $20,000 academic scholarship to the school that wins the Sears Trophy each year. The scholarship is earmarked for an outstanding freshman student who does not participate in intercollegiate athletics.

The Sears Trophy is part of the Sears Collegiate Champions program - a comprehensive trophy and academic scholarship program which recognizes both women's and men's sports equally. In total, more than 2,200 trophies and more than a quarter of a million dollars in academic scholarships are awarded to NCAA Division I, II, III and NAIA institutions each year.


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