Fun fact for today with the Battle for the Axe coming up this weekend. We haven't had a lead in the series since 1908. Yep, 1908. In 1922 we managed to get the series close to even (within 2 games) but just couldn't get over the hump, tying the next three games before Minnesota went on a tear during their glory years (you may have heard Gopher fans reminisce about national championships they earned around the time their grandparents were born). Over the next two and a half decades, they ballooned their series lead to it's max: 18 games. After 45 years of back and forth, we've been steadily erasing that lead since 1995. I feel confident heading into this weekend, but that's not good enough. Ten in a row isn't enough for me. We need to make it 11 in a row to get back to even with this series. So come on Bucky. Don't let me down. Another win. Another year closer to taking back the series lead. Ancillary fact: Scoring throughout the series has been remarkably even. The Gophers lead all time with 2100 points to our 2076. One hundred and twenty two meetings (122!) and the total score differential is 24 points. That's crazy.
Another season, another watch list to watch. This one's pretty big, though: the Wooden Award, handed out by the Los Angeles Athletic Club, has named Wisconsin forward Sam Dekker to its preseason top 50. He's one of 10 Big Ten players on the list, and that second number leads all other conferences.
Being a New York Giants fan (I know, I know), I felt compelled to help the bros at my old stomping grounds, Big Blue View, answer this question: Who exactly is Scott Tolzien, and what might they expect when he leads the Packers into MetLife Stadium this weekend?
Chris Borland was named Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week Monday morning, and that brings about an impressive mark of its own: Borland has now won five such weekly conference honors, tying him with former Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny for the most all time (five). Against BYU, Borland recorded 13 tackles and tied his career-high with two sacks. It was also his 16th career double-digit tackle game, and his fourth this season.
BYU DC Nick Howell is preparing for Jared Abbrederis and knows he is the receiver that will be getting the ball for Wisconsin on Saturday.
Fun with databases, especially USA TODAY's always handy and illuminating college football coaches' pay database: Bret Bielema makes more money than we thought at Arkansas. USA TODAY pegs his total pay at $5,158,863, behind only Alabama's Nick Saban ($5,545,852) and Texas' Mack Brown ($5,453,750). Bielema's replacement at Wisconsin, meanwhile, makes $2,120,823. That's the 47th-most in college football, and eighth-most in the Big Ten.
Former Wisconsin and Denver Broncos offensive lineman John Moffitt is quitting football, according to Dave Softy Mahler of Sportsradio 950 KJR in Seattle. Moffitt didn't return to the Broncos after their bye, and the Denver Post's Mike Klis reported earlier Tuesday that Moffitt was frustrated by a perceived lack of playing time and "doing some soul searching." Indeed, Klis adds that Moffitt has now been placed on the Broncos' reserve/left squad list. Moffitt was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He was traded to Denver in August.
We revel at the possibility of a field rush-worthy game and many of us will never forget how that's precisely what transpired after the 2010 win over Ohio State. But as Dan Simmons of the Wisconsin State Journal reminds us, there was a time when that imagery wasn't so welcoming. After Wisconsin took down Michigan Oct. 30, 1993, about 70 people were taken to local hospitals -- including 10 who were fond unconscious and not breathing -- when the Camp Randall crowd flocked to the field.
This should've been the first thing we posted this week. Apologies for that. But this Solid Verbal all-time classic never gets old...