Minnesota–Wisconsin football rivalry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Paul Bunyan's Axe)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Minnesota–Wisconsin football rivalry
First meetingNovember 15, 1890
Minnesota, 63–0
Latest meetingNovember 27, 2021
Minnesota, 23–13
Next meetingNovember 26, 2022
TrophyPaul Bunyan's Axe (current)
Slab of Bacon (former)
Statistics
Meetings total131
All-time seriesWisconsin leads, 62–61–8 (.504)[1]
Trophy seriesWisconsin leads, 45–26–3 (.628)
Largest victoryMinnesota, 63–0 (1890)
Longest win streakWisconsin, 14 (2004–2017)
Current win streakMinnesota, 1 (2021–present)
Locations of Minnesota and Wisconsin

The Minnesota–Wisconsin football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Wisconsin Badgers. It is the most-played rivalry in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, with 131 meetings between the two teams. The winner of the game receives Paul Bunyan's Axe, a tradition that started in 1948 after the first trophy, the Slab of Bacon, disappeared after the 1943 game when the Badgers were supposed to turn it over to the Golden Gophers. Minnesota and Wisconsin first played in 1890 and have met every year since, except for 1906. Wisconsin leads the series 62–61–8 through 2021.[2] Wisconsin took the series lead for the first time after defeating Minnesota 31–0 in the 2017 game; Minnesota had led the overall series since 1902, at times by as many as 20 games.

The rivalry game is sometimes known as the Border Battle.[3]

History[edit]

The rivalry was first played in 1890 on Minnesota's campus, in Minneapolis, resulting in a 63–0 Minnesota victory. Theron Lyman led Wisconsin to its first win over Minnesota in 1894. The game became a conference rivalry with the creation of the Western Conference (later the Big Ten Conference) in 1896. In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt suspended college football rivalry games for safety concerns, due to player injuries and fatalities on the field. It is the single year the two teams did not play each other.[4][5] Subsequently, it is now the longest uninterrupted rivalry in FBS Division 1 college football. The game has never been played in any city besides Minneapolis, and Madison, Wisconsin.

From 1933 to 1982, it was traditionally the final game of the regular season for both schools. It has resumed being a season finale as of 2014, following the Big Ten's new divisional alignment and schedule for the final weekend of conference play.

Minnesota vs. Wisconsin, Randall Field, 1903

The 2014 and 2019 games decided the Big Ten West champion; Wisconsin defeated Minnesota 34–24 to go to the 2014 Big Ten Football Championship Game against Ohio State. In 2019, Wisconsin defeated Minnesota 38–17 to go to the 2019 Big Ten Football Championship Game against Ohio State. The last time the rivalry determined a Big Ten Conference champion was in 1962 when #3 Wisconsin defeated #5 Minnesota for a berth to the 1963 Rose Bowl.[6]

Wisconsin won 14 straight meetings against Minnesota, from 2004 to 2017, before the Gophers beat the Badgers in their 2018 matchup. It ended the longest losing streak for either team in the history of the rivalry.[7]

Trophies[edit]

Slab of Bacon[edit]

The rivalry's first trophy was the "Slab of Bacon", in use from 1930 to 1943. Created by R. B. Fouch of Minneapolis, it is a piece of black walnut wood with a football at the center bearing a letter that becomes "M" or "W" depending on which way the trophy is hung. The word "BACON" is carved at both ends, implying that the winner has "brought home the bacon." The trophy's tenure ended when Minnesota's 1943 victory in Minnesota led to the fans rushing the field. Wisconsin student Peg Watrous was to bring the trophy to a Minnesota representative after the game, but could not find her in the commotion, and subsequently lost track of the "bacon".[8][9] Reportedly, the trophy was sent to Minnesota's locker room, but coach George Hauser refused it, suggesting such traditions be held off until after World War II.[10] It was subsequently lost; a new trophy, "Paul Bunyan's Axe", was introduced in 1948.[10]

The trophy was "lost" for over 50 years. In 1992, Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez joked that "we took home the bacon, and kept it."[11] In 1994, Wisconsin intern Will Roleson found it in an old storage closet at Camp Randall Stadium. It had evidently been maintained for some time, as game scores through 1970 were painted on the back. It is now displayed at the Camp Randall Stadium football offices.[8]

Trophy record (1930-1943): Minnesota, 11–3 (.786)[citation needed]

Paul Bunyan's Axe[edit]

Badgers celebrating their win by carrying Paul Bunyan's Axe around Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium after the 2009 game

The Paul Bunyan Axe was created by the Wisconsin letterwinners' organization (the National W Club) and would be instituted as the trophy in the series in 1948. The scores of each game are recorded on the axe's handle, which is 6 feet long. A new axe was created in 2000. The original axe was donated to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.[12]

Until 2014, when the game ended, if the team holding the trophy won, they would run to their own sideline, take the axe and carry it around the field and "chop down" one or both goal posts.[13][14][15][16][17] If the team not holding the axe won, they were allowed to run to their opponents' sideline and "steal" the axe. The tradition was changed in 2014, with the Axe now kept off the field until the game is over. This change was in response to a near skirmish in 2013 in which the Minnesota players surrounded their goal post and would not permit the Wisconsin players to ceremonially chop it down.[18] The usual tradition was restored in 2015, with Wisconsin winning again 31–21.[19]

Trophy record: Wisconsin, 45–26–3 (.628) [Through 2021]

Accomplishments by the two rivals[edit]

Team Minnesota[20] Wisconsin[21]
Claimed national titles[22][23] 7 0
Bowl appearances[24][25] 20 33
Postseason bowl record 8–12 18–15
BCS bowl appearances 0 5
CFP playoff appearances 0 0
NY6 bowl appearances 0 3
Rose Bowl appearances 2 10
Rose Bowl wins 1 3
Division titles 1 5
Conference titles 20 (2 IAAN) 14
Consensus All-Americans[26][27] 28 32
Heisman Trophies[28] 1 2
All-time program record 673–506–42 715–496–53
All-time win percentage .568 .587

Game results[edit]

Minnesota victoriesWisconsin victoriesTie games
No.DateLocationWinnerScore
1 November 15, 1890 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 63–0
2 October 24, 1891 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 26–12
3 October 29, 1892 Madison, WI Minnesota 32–4
4 November 16, 1893 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 40–0
5 November 17, 1894 Madison, WI Wisconsin 6–0
6 November 16, 1895 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 14–10
7 November 21, 1896 Madison, WI Wisconsin 6–0
8 October 30, 1897 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 39–0
9 October 29, 1898 Madison, WI Wisconsin 29–0
10 November 18, 1899 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 19–0
11 November 3, 1900 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 6–5
12 November 16, 1901 Madison, WI Wisconsin 18–0
13 November 15, 1902 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 11–0
14 November 26, 1903 Madison, WI Minnesota 17–0
15 November 12, 1904 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 28–0
16 November 4, 1905 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 16–12
17 November 23, 1907 Madison, WI Tie17–17
18 November 7, 1908 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 5–0
19 November 13, 1909 Madison, WI Minnesota 34–6
20 November 12, 1910 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 28–0
21 November 18, 1911 Madison, WI Tie6–6
22 November 16, 1912 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 14–0
23 November 1, 1913 Madison, WI Minnesota 21–3
24 November 14, 1914 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 14–3
25 November 20, 1915 Madison, WI Minnesota 20–3
26 November 18, 1916 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 54–0
27 November 3, 1917 Madison, WI Wisconsin 10–7
28 November 16, 1918 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 6–0
29 November 1, 1919 Madison, WI Minnesota 19–7
30 November 6, 1920 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 3–0
31 October 29, 1921 Madison, WI Wisconsin 35–0
32 November 4, 1922 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 14–0
33 October 27, 1923 Madison, WI Tie0–0
34 October 18, 1924 Madison, WI Tie7–7
35 October 31, 1925 Minneapolis, MN Tie12–12
36 October 30, 1926 Madison, WI Minnesota 16–10
37 October 29, 1927 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 13–7
38 November 24, 1928 Madison, WI Minnesota 6–0
39 November 23, 1929 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 13–12
40 November 22, 1930 Madison, WI Wisconsin 14–0
41 October 31, 1931 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 14–0
42 November 12, 1932 Madison, WI Wisconsin 20–13
43 November 25, 1933 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 6–3
44 November 24, 1934 Madison, WI Minnesota 34–0
45 November 25, 1935 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 33–7
46 November 21, 1936 Madison, WI #2 Minnesota 24–0
47 November 20, 1937 Minneapolis, MN #7 Minnesota 13–6
48 November 19, 1938 Madison, WI Minnesota 21–0
49 November 25, 1939 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 23–6
50 November 23, 1940 Madison, WI #1 Minnesota 22–13
51 November 22, 1941 Minneapolis, MN #1 Minnesota 41–6
52 November 21, 1942 Madison, WI #7 Wisconsin 20–6
53 November 20, 1943 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 25–13
54 November 25, 1944 Madison, WI Minnesota 28–26
55 November 24, 1945 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 26–12
56 November 23, 1946 Madison, WI Minnesota 6–0
57 November 22, 1947 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 21–0
58 November 20, 1948 Madison, WI #15 Minnesota 16–0
59 November 19, 1949 Minneapolis, MN #8 Minnesota 14–6
60 November 25, 1950 Madison, WI Wisconsin 14–0
61 November 24, 1951 Minneapolis, MN #8 Wisconsin 30–6
62 November 22, 1952 Madison, WI Tie21–21
63 November 21, 1953 Minneapolis, MN Tie21–21
64 November 20, 1954 Madison, WI #17 Wisconsin 27–0
65 November 19, 1955 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 21–6
66 November 24, 1956 Madison, WI Tie13–13
67 November 23, 1957 Minneapolis, MN #18 Wisconsin 14–6
No.DateLocationWinnerScore
68 November 22, 1958 Madison, WI Wisconsin 27–12
69 November 21, 1959 Minneapolis, MN #9 Wisconsin 11–7
70 November 19, 1960 Madison, WI #4 Minnesota 26–7
71 November 25, 1961 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 23–21
72 November 24, 1962 Madison, WI #3 Wisconsin 14–9
73 November 28, 1963 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 14–0
74 November 21, 1964 Madison, WI Wisconsin 14–7
75 November 20, 1965 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 42–7
76 November 19, 1966 Madison, WI Wisconsin 7–6
77 November 25, 1967 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 21–14
78 November 23, 1968 Madison, WI Minnesota 23–15
79 November 22, 1969 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 35–10
80 November 21, 1970 Madison, WI Wisconsin 39–14
81 November 20, 1971 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 23–21
82 November 25, 1972 Madison, WI Minnesota 14–6
83 November 24, 1973 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 19–17
84 November 23, 1974 Madison, WI Wisconsin 49–14
85 November 22, 1975 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 24–3
86 November 20, 1976 Madison, WI Wisconsin 26–17
87 November 19, 1977 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 13–7
88 November 25, 1978 Madison, WI Wisconsin 48–10
89 November 17, 1979 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 42–37
90 November 22, 1980 Madison, WI Wisconsin 25–7
91 November 21, 1981 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 26–21
92 November 20, 1982 Madison, WI Wisconsin 24–0
93 October 15, 1983 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 56–17
94 October 13, 1984 Madison, WI Minnesota 17–14
95 November 9, 1985 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 27–18
96 November 8, 1986 Madison, WI Minnesota 27–20
97 November 14, 1987 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 22–19
98 November 12, 1988 Madison, WI Wisconsin 14–7
99 November 4, 1989 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 24–22
100 November 3, 1990 Madison, WI Minnesota 21–3
101 November 16, 1991 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 19–16
102 November 14, 1992 Madison, WI Wisconsin 34–6
103 October 23, 1993 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 28–21
104 October 22, 1994 Madison, WI Minnesota 17–14
105 November 11, 1995 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 34–27
106 November 9, 1996 Madison, WI Wisconsin 45–28
107 October 25, 1997 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 22–21
108 November 7, 1998 Madison, WI #8 Wisconsin 26–7
109 October 9, 1999 Minneapolis, MN #20 Wisconsin 20–17
110 November 4, 2000 Madison, WI Wisconsin 41–20
111 November 24, 2001 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 42–31
112 November 23, 2002 Madison, WI Wisconsin 49–31
113 November 8, 2003 Minneapolis, MN #24 Minnesota 37–34
114 November 6, 2004 Madison, WI #5 Wisconsin 38–14
115 October 15, 2005 Minneapolis, MN #23 Wisconsin 38–34
116 October 14, 2006 Madison, WI #25 Wisconsin 48–12
117 November 17, 2007 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 41–34
118 November 15, 2008 Madison, WI Wisconsin 35–32
119 October 3, 2009 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 31–28
120 October 9, 2010 Madison, WI #19 Wisconsin 41–23
121 November 23, 2011 Minneapolis, MN #16 Wisconsin 42–13
122 October 20, 2012 Madison, WI Wisconsin 38–13
123 November 23, 2013 Minneapolis, MN #17 Wisconsin 20–7
124 November 29, 2014 Madison, WI #14 Wisconsin 34–24
125 November 28, 2015 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 31–21
126 November 26, 2016 Madison, WI #5 Wisconsin 31–17
127 November 25, 2017 Minneapolis, MN #5 Wisconsin 31–0
128 November 24, 2018 Madison, WI Minnesota 37–15
129 November 30, 2019 Minneapolis, MN #12 Wisconsin 38–17
130 December 19, 2020 Madison, WI Wisconsin 20–17
131 November 27, 2021 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 23–13
132 November 26, 2022 Madison, WI
Series: Wisconsin leads 62–61–8[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Winsipedia – Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Wisconsin Badgers football series history". Winsipedia.
  2. ^ "Winsipedia College Football Database: Minnesota vs. Wisconsin". Winsipedia.com. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  3. ^ "MN-WI Border Battle". Breakdown Sprots.
  4. ^ "Bielema touts history of Wisconsin-Minnesota rivalry – College Football – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. November 12, 2007. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  5. ^ "Paul Bunyan's Axe – Minnesota vs. Wisconsin – University of Minnesota Official Athletic Site". Gophersports.com. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  6. ^ "Wisconsin Badgers Football, Basketball, and Recruiting Front Page". Wisconsin.scout.com. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
  7. ^ Mason, Tyler. "A night 15 years in the making: Gophers finally get their..." The Athletic. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Doherty, Justin (2005). Tales from the Wisconsin Badgers. Sports Publishing. p. 104. ISBN 1582614083. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
  9. ^ "Precursor to the Axe - UWBadgers.com - The Official Athletic Site of the Wisconsin Badgers". UWBadgers.com. Archived from the original on June 6, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  10. ^ a b Scott Dochterman. "Traveling trophies woven into Big Ten football fabric (with poll, video)". TheGazette. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  11. ^ Doherty, Justin (2005). Tales from the Wisconsin Badgers. Sports Publishing. p. 105. ISBN 1582614083. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
  12. ^ "Original Axe headed to Hall of Fame". The Badger Herald. November 19, 2003. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  13. ^ Fox Sports (November 19, 2013). "badgers-gophers-rivalry-gets-boost-as-both-teams-good | FOX Sports on MSN". Foxsportswisconsin.com. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  14. ^ Bennett, Brian (May 6, 2014). "Big Ten weekend rewind: Week 13 – ESPN". Espn.go.com. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  15. ^ "Countdown to end begins for Metrodome". kare11.com. August 9, 2013. Archived from the original on November 26, 2013. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  16. ^ "Former Badgers Recall Axe Rivalry – UWBadgers.com – The Official Athletic Site of the Wisconsin Badgers". UWBadgers.com. Archived from the original on December 5, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  17. ^ "Badgers football: Backfield tandem runs wild — and wildcat — over Gophers : Sports". Host.madison.com. October 20, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  18. ^ "Gary Andersen says Paul Bunyans Axe will disappear during Minnesota vs. Wisconsin". The Daily Gopher. November 24, 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  19. ^ Journal, Todd D. Milewski | Wisconsin State. "After another Badgers win over Gophers, Axe 'qualifies for a state pension' for tenure in Wisconsin". madison.com. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  20. ^ "Minnesota Golden Gophers Index". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  21. ^ "Wisconsin Badgers Index". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  22. ^ "NCAA Football Championship History". NCAA.com. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  23. ^ "Minnesota Championships". GopherSports.com. Archived from the original on December 2, 2014. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  24. ^ "Minnesota Bowl History". CollegeFootballPoll.com. Archived from the original on December 15, 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  25. ^ "Wisconsin Bowl History". CollegeFootballPoll.com. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  26. ^ "Minnesota All-America Selections". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  27. ^ "Wisconsin Badgers All-America Selections". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
  28. ^ "Past Heisman Trophy Winners". NationalChamps.net. Retrieved November 18, 2014.

External links[edit]