Ohio State-Michigan this, Ohio State-Michigan that. The Game, The Game, The Game.

We hear it all this time of year. And in just a few days, arguably the greatest rivalry in sports will take place. But, what if the Buckeyes get up on Michigan early? Then what? What other game is there to turn to for a casual fan or a Big Ten follower?

Look directly at Minnesota-Wisconsin. The battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe arguably means more than Ohio State-Wisconsin. Ohio State may be able to lose to Michigan, still win the Big Ten and make the College Football Playoff.


But for Minnesota and Wisconsin, both need to win. The winner wins the Big Ten West and moves on to Indianapolis for the chance to knock off Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship. Everything is on the line.

And, Kirk Herbstreit cannot wait for it — ESPN’s College GameDay will be there:

“We wanted to be there (for Penn State), but it was a big game obviously that week in Tuscaloosa,” Herbstreit said. “Now, we get a chance to come up for even bigger stakes with the winner going to the Big Ten Championship.

“… Wisconsin obviously has owned this rivalry. I think it was 14 straight until Minnesota went to Madison and upset the Badgers last year. So after 14 straight, they possess the axe. Now, we get a chance to see so much at stake for both teams, not one, but the winner goes to Indianapolis.”

More from Herbstreit:

“I think Wisconsin’s defense has been very good for the most part all year. How they go up against these play makers and Tanner Morgan will go a long way in determining how this game goes. Can they create some turnovers? Can they hold up, prevent the big play? If you’ve not seen Minnesota play this year, boy, they are loaded in the backfield led by Rodney Smith. Great play makers on the outside. Tyler Johnson can make plays. Rashod Bateman can make plays. Wisconsin, they’ve got to stop the running game and they’ve got to get pressure to try to get Tanner Morgan out of his rhythm that he’s been playing with.”

Minnesota-Wisconsin is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff on Saturday, Nov. 30 at Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium. The game will be televised on ABC.