This time, when the No. 19 Wisconsin Badgers have their 123rd meeting with the No. 25 Minnesota Golden Gophers, a lot more than bragging rights and an axe will be on the line.
Not many are surprised to see the Badgers with an 8-2 (5-1) record at this point in the season, but Minnesota also happens to be sitting at 8-2 (4-2) with two regular season games remaining. This is also the first time both teams have come into the battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe, the longest standing rivalry in the FBS, ranked since 2005.
While the Golden Gophers hold the edge in the all-time series (58-56-8), Wisconsin has won the last nine meetings and in recent years, this hasn't been much of a rivalry. But with Minnesota reviving its football program under the guidance of Jerry Kill, it is ready to renew the rivalry by defeating the Badgers for the first time in ten years.
What will help the Gophers is that this particular contest takes place at home, which is where they won their fourth consecutive game over Penn State. Coming off a bye week, Minnesota has had an extra week to prepare for Wisconsin, which is fresh off a dismantling of Indiana, 51-3.
Can the Gophers eliminate the Badgers from BCS contention and perhaps even launch themselves into the conversation? Check out our complete game preview of the battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe.
Day, Time: Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT
Place: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minn.
Spread: Wisconsin (-16), via Odds Shark