Minnesota–Wisconsin football rivalry

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"Paul Bunyan's Axe" redirects here. For the similarly named Paul Bunyan Trophy, see Michigan–Michigan State football rivalry.
Minnesota–Wisconsin football rivalry
Original 1948 Paul Bunyan's Axe (cropped).jpg
First meeting November 15, 1890
Minnesota 63, Wisconsin 0
Latest meeting November 28, 2015
Wisconsin 31, Minnesota 21
Next meeting November 26, 2016
Trophy Paul Bunyan's Axe (current)
Slab of Bacon (former)
Statistics
Meetings total 125
All-time series Minnesota leads, 59–58–8 (.504)
Largest victory Minnesota, 63–0 (1890)
Longest win streak Wisconsin, 12 (2004–present)
Current win streak Wisconsin, 12 (2004–present)

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 125 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. Minnesota and Wisconsin first played in 1890 and have met every year since 1907. Minnesota leads the series 59–58–8.[1]

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, to date, the only time that the two teams have not played each other.[2][3]

Minnesota vs. Wisconsin, Randall Field, 1903

In the 2014 matchup the Badgers and Golden Gophers wore purple stickers on their helmets during the game to raise awareness for epilepsy.[4] The 2014 game decided the Big Ten West champion; Wisconsin defeated Minnesota 34–24 to go to the 2014 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.[5]

Trophies[edit]

Slab of Bacon[edit]

The Slab of Bacon

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".[6][7] 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.[8] It was subsequently lost; a new trophy, "Paul Bunyan's Axe", was introduced in 1948.[8]

The trophy was lost for over 50 years. In 1992, Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez joked that "we took home the bacon, and kept it."[9] 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.[6]

Trophy record: Minnesota, 11–3 (.786)

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
Badgers chopping down the Golden Gophers goal post after their 2012 win at Camp Randall

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. The original axe was retired to the College Football Hall of Fame after the 2003 game. A new axe was created for the 2004 game.[10]

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.[11][12][13][14][15] 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 conclusion of the game. 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.[16]

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.

Trophy record: Wisconsin, 41–24–3 (.625)

Accomplishments by the two rivals[edit]

Team Minnesota[17] Wisconsin[18]
Claimed National titles[19][20] 7 0
Unclaimed National titles[21][22] 0 1
Bowl appearances [23][24] 16 25
Postseason bowl record 5–12 12–14
BCS bowl appearances 0 5
CFP playoff appearances 0 0
CFP bowl appearances* 0 0
Rose Bowl appearances 2 9
Rose Bowl record 1–1 3–6
Division titles[25] 0 2
Conference titles 20 (2 IAAN) 14
Consensus All-America Players[26][27] 28 24
Heisman Trophy Winners[28] 1 2
All-time program record 673–505–44 672–486–53
All-time win percentage .569 .577

* CFP Bowls include the Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Peach, Rose, and Sugar Bowls when not hosting a semi-final playoff game.

Game results[edit]

Minnesota victories Wisconsin victories Ties
# Date Location Winning team Losing team
1 November 15, 1890 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 63 Wisconsin 0
2 October 24, 1891 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 26 Wisconsin 12
3 October 29, 1892 Madison, WI Minnesota 32 Wisconsin 4
4 November 11, 1893 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 40 Wisconsin 0
5 November 17, 1894 Madison, WI Wisconsin 6 Minnesota 0
6 November 16, 1895 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 14 Wisconsin 10
7 November 21, 1896 Madison, WI Wisconsin 6 Minnesota 0
8 October 30, 1897 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 39 Minnesota 0
9 October 29, 1898 Madison, WI Wisconsin 29 Minnesota 0
10 November 18, 1899 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 19 Minnesota 0
11 November 3, 1900 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 6 Wisconsin 5
12 November 16, 1901 Madison, WI Wisconsin 18 Minnesota 0
13 November 15, 1902 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 11 Wisconsin 0
14 November 26, 1903 Madison, WI Minnesota 17 Wisconsin 0
15 November 12, 1904 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 28 Wisconsin 0
16 November 4, 1905 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 16 Minnesota 12
17 November 23, 1907 Madison, WI Tie 17 Tie 17
18 November 7, 1908 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 5 Minnesota 0
19 November 13, 1909 Madison, WI Minnesota 34 Wisconsin 6
20 November 12, 1910 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 28 Wisconsin 0
21 November 18, 1911 Madison, WI Tie 6 Tie 6
22 November 16, 1912 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 14 Minnesota 0
23 November 1, 1913 Madison, WI Minnesota 21 Wisconsin 3
24 November 14, 1914 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 14 Wisconsin 3
25 November 20, 1915 Madison, WI Minnesota 20 Wisconsin 3
26 November 18, 1916 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 54 Wisconsin 0
27 November 3, 1917 Madison, WI Wisconsin 10 Minnesota 7
28 November 16, 1918 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 6 Wisconsin 0
29 November 1, 1919 Madison, WI Minnesota 19 Wisconsin 7
30 November 6, 1920 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 3 Minnesota 0
31 October 29, 1921 Madison, WI Wisconsin 35 Minnesota 0
32 November 4, 1922 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 14 Minnesota 0
33 October 27, 1923 Madison, WI Tie 0 Tie 0
34 October 18, 1924 Madison, WI Tie 7 Tie 7
35 October 31, 1925 Minneapolis, MN Tie 12 Tie 12
36 October 30, 1926 Madison, WI Minnesota 16 Wisconsin 10
37 October 29, 1927 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 13 Wisconsin 7
38 November 24, 1928 Madison, WI Minnesota 6 Wisconsin 0
39 November 23, 1929 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 13 Wisconsin 12
40 November 22, 1930 Madison, WI Wisconsin 14 Minnesota 0
41 October 31, 1931 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 14 Wisconsin 0
42 November 12, 1932 Madison, WI Wisconsin 20 Minnesota 13
43 November 25, 1933 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 6 Wisconsin 3
44 November 24, 1934 Madison, WI Minnesota 34 Wisconsin 0
45 November 23, 1935 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 33 Wisconsin 7
46 November 21, 1936 Madison, WI #2 Minnesota 24 Wisconsin 0
47 November 20, 1937 Minneapolis, MN #7 Minnesota 13 Wisconsin 6
48 November 19, 1938 Madison, WI Minnesota 21 #12 Wisconsin 0
49 November 25, 1939 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 23 Wisconsin 6
50 November 23, 1940 Madison, WI #1 Minnesota 22 Wisconsin 13
51 November 22, 1941 Minneapolis, MN #1 Minnesota 41 Wisconsin 6
52 November 21, 1942 Madison, WI #7 Wisconsin 20 #10 Minnesota 6
53 November 20, 1943 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 25 Wisconsin 13
54 November 25, 1944 Madison, WI Minnesota 28 Wisconsin 26
55 November 24, 1945 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 26 Minnesota 12
56 November 23, 1946 Madison, WI Minnesota 6 Wisconsin 0
57 November 22, 1947 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 21 Wisconsin 0
58 November 20, 1948 Madison, WI #15 Minnesota 16 Wisconsin 0
59 November 19, 1949 Minneapolis, MN #8 Minnesota 14 Wisconsin 6
60 November 25, 1950 Madison, WI Wisconsin 14 Minnesota 0
61 November 24, 1951 Minneapolis, MN #8 Wisconsin 30 Minnesota 6
62 November 22, 1952 Madison, WI Tie 21 Tie 21
63 November 21, 1953 Minneapolis, MN Tie 21 Tie 21
64 November 20, 1954 Madison, WI #17 Wisconsin 27 #10 Minnesota 0
65 November 19, 1955 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 21 Wisconsin 6
66 November 24, 1956 Madison, WI Tie 13 Tie 13
67 November 23, 1957 Minneapolis, MN #18 Wisconsin 14 Minnesota 6
68 November 22, 1958 Madison, WI Wisconsin 27 Minnesota 12
69 November 21, 1959 Minneapolis, MN #9 Wisconsin 11 Minnesota 7
70 November 19, 1960 Madison, WI #4 Minnesota 26 Wisconsin 7
71 November 25, 1961 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 23 #3 Minnesota 21
72 November 24, 1962 Madison, WI #3 Wisconsin 14 #5 Minnesota 9
73 November 28, 1963 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 14 Wisconsin 0
74 November 21, 1964 Madison, WI Wisconsin 14 Minnesota 7
75 November 20, 1965 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 42 Wisconsin 7
76 November 19, 1966 Madison, WI Wisconsin 7 Minnesota 6
77 November 25, 1967 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 21 Wisconsin 14
78 November 23, 1968 Madison, WI Minnesota 23 Wisconsin 15
79 November 22, 1969 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 35 Wisconsin 10
80 November 21, 1970 Madison, WI Wisconsin 39 Minnesota 14
81 November 20, 1971 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 23 Wisconsin 21
82 November 25, 1972 Madison, WI Minnesota 14 Wisconsin 6
83 November 24, 1973 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 19 Wisconsin 17
84 November 23, 1974 Madison, WI Wisconsin 49 Minnesota 14
85 November 22, 1975 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 24 Wisconsin 3
86 November 20, 1976 Madison, WI Wisconsin 26 Minnesota 17
87 November 19, 1977 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 13 Wisconsin 7
88 November 25, 1978 Madison, WI Wisconsin 48 Minnesota 10
89 November 17, 1979 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 42 Minnesota 37
90 November 22, 1980 Madison, WI Wisconsin 25 Minnesota 7
91 November 21, 1981 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 26 Minnesota 21
92 November 20, 1982 Madison, WI Wisconsin 24 Minnesota 0
93 October 15, 1983 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 56 Minnesota 17
94 October 13, 1984 Madison, WI Minnesota 17 Wisconsin 14
95 November 9, 1985 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 27 Wisconsin 18
96 November 8, 1986 Madison, WI Minnesota 27 Wisconsin 20
97 November 14, 1987 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 22 Wisconsin 19
98 November 12, 1988 Madison, WI Wisconsin 14 Minnesota 7
99 November 4, 1989 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 24 Wisconsin 22
100 November 3, 1990 Madison, WI Minnesota 21 Wisconsin 3
101 November 16, 1991 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 19 Minnesota 16
102 November 14, 1992 Madison, WI Wisconsin 34 Minnesota 6
103 October 23, 1993 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 28 #15 Wisconsin 21
104 October 22, 1994 Madison, WI Minnesota 17 Wisconsin 14
105 November 11, 1995 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 34 Minnesota 27
106 November 9, 1996 Madison, WI Wisconsin 45 Minnesota 28
107 October 25, 1997 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 22 Minnesota 21
108 November 7, 1998 Madison, WI #8 Wisconsin 26 Minnesota 7
109 October 9, 1999 Minneapolis, MN #20 Wisconsin 20 #25 Minnesota 17
110 November 4, 2000 Madison, WI Wisconsin 41 Minnesota 20
111 November 24, 2001 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 42 Wisconsin 31
112 November 23, 2002 Madison, WI Wisconsin 49 Minnesota 31
113 November 8, 2003 Minneapolis, MN #24 Minnesota 37 Wisconsin 34
114 November 6, 2004 Madison, WI #5 Wisconsin 38 Minnesota 14
115 October 15, 2005 Minneapolis, MN #23 Wisconsin 38 #22 Minnesota 34
116 October 14, 2006 Madison, WI #25 Wisconsin 48 Minnesota 12
117 November 17, 2007 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 41 Minnesota 34
118 November 15, 2008 Madison, WI Wisconsin 35 Minnesota 32
119 October 3, 2009 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 31 Minnesota 28
120 October 9, 2010 Madison, WI #19 Wisconsin 41 Minnesota 23
121 November 12, 2011 Minneapolis, MN #16 Wisconsin 42 Minnesota 13
122 October 20, 2012 Madison, WI Wisconsin 38 Minnesota 13
123 November 23, 2013 Minneapolis, MN #17 Wisconsin 20 #23 Minnesota 7
124 November 29, 2014 Madison, WI #14 Wisconsin 34 #22 Minnesota 24
125 November 28, 2015 Minneapolis, MN Wisconsin 31 Minnesota 21
126 November 26, 2016 Madison, WI
Series: Minnesota leads 59–58–8
All rankings from the AP Poll.

See also[edit]

Other Wisconsin traveling trophies:

Other Minnesota traveling trophies:

Other links:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Series History: Wisconsin vs. Minnesota". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Bielema touts history of Wisconsin-Minnesota rivalry - College Football - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2007-11-12. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  3. ^ "Paul Bunyan's Axe - Minnesota vs. Wisconsin - University of Minnesota Official Athletic Site". Gophersports.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  4. ^ "Wisconsin, Minnesota to team up for epilepsy awareness - Bucky's 5th Quarter". Buckys5thquarter.com. 2014-10-29. Retrieved 2015-10-10. 
  5. ^ "Wisconsin Badgers Football, Basketball, and Recruiting Front Page". Wisconsin.scout.com. Retrieved 2015-10-10. 
  6. ^ a b Doherty, Justin (2005). Tales from the Wisconsin Badgers. Sports Publishing. p. 104. ISBN 1582614083. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Precursor to the Axe - UWBadgers.com - The Official Athletic Site of the Wisconsin Badgers". UWBadgers.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  8. ^ a b Scott Dochterman. "Traveling trophies woven into Big Ten football fabric (with poll, video)". TheGazette. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  9. ^ Doherty, Justin (2005). Tales from the Wisconsin Badgers. Sports Publishing. p. 105. ISBN 1582614083. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Original Axe headed to Hall of Fame". The Badger Herald. 2003-11-19. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  11. ^ Fox Sports (2013-11-19). "badgers-gophers-rivalry-gets-boost-as-both-teams-good | FOX Sports on MSN". Foxsportswisconsin.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  12. ^ Bennett, Brian (2014-05-06). "Big Ten weekend rewind: Week 13 - ESPN". Espn.go.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  13. ^ "Countdown to end begins for Metrodome". kare11.com. 2013-08-09. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  14. ^ "Former Badgers Recall Axe Rivalry - UWBadgers.com - The Official Athletic Site of the Wisconsin Badgers". UWBadgers.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  15. ^ "Badgers football: Backfield tandem runs wild — and wildcat — over Gophers : Sports". Host.madison.com. 2012-10-20. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  16. ^ "Gary Andersen says Paul Bunyans Axe will disappear during Minnesota vs. Wisconsin". The Daily Gopher. 24 November 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  17. ^ "Minnesota Golden Gophers Index". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  18. ^ "Wisconsin Badgers Index". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  19. ^ "NCAA Football Championship History". NCAA.com. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  20. ^ "Minnesota Championships". GopherSports.com. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  21. ^ "1942 College Football National Championship". Tiptop25.com. Retrieved 2015-10-10. 
  22. ^ "Andy Baggot: We are — or were — the champions? | Sports". host.madison.com. 2013-01-08. Retrieved 2015-10-10. 
  23. ^ "Minnesota Bowl History". CollegeFootballPoll.com. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  24. ^ "Wisconsin Bowl History". CollegeFootballPoll.com. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  25. ^ "Divisional Rankings". ESPN.go.com. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  26. ^ "Minnesota All-America Selections". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  27. ^ "Wisconsin Badgers All-America Selections". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  28. ^ "Past Heisman Trophy Winners". NationalChamps.net. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 

External links[edit]