Paul Bunyan Axe
The most-played rivalry in Division I football continues this fall when Wisconsin and Minnesota meet. The UW-UM series is the nation's oldest and has been played continuously for since 1890 (except for 1906). The game has alternated sites between the university campuses since 1946. Much prestige was always associated with the game, and the significance was emphasized with its place on the schedule. Between 1933 and 1982, the Wisconsin-Minnesota game was always the final regular-season contest for each school.
The series took an added twist in 1948 when more than state bragging rights were on the line. After a 16-0 setback that season, the Wisconsin lettermen's group, the National 'W' Club, presented Minnesota with an axe wielded by Paul Bunyan. He was the mythical giant of Midwestern lumber camps. Each year since, the winner of the annual battle between the Big Ten rivals is presented with the axe, complete with scores inscribed on the handle, for display on its campus.