The Paul Bunyan Axe has been the focal point between the Minnesota and Wisconsin football teams since 1948 but a new element will add another twist to the oft-heated competition between the Badgers and the Gophers.
The Border Battle Cup, based on a point-total system, will be determined by the outcome of regular-season games in 11 sports: football, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's hockey, volleyball, women's soccer, men's and women's tennis, wrestling and softball. Each sport is worth 40 points and the winner of each game will earn a certain number of points based on the number of times the teams meet. For example, the football teams meet once so the winner will receive 40 points and the loser will receive none; in men's and women's hockey, where the teams play four times each, the winner of each game will receive 10 points. If a game results in a tie, the points will be divided equally among the teams. In the instance of a tiebreaker, the contest will revert to the teams' conference finishes in each sport. The athletic directors, Barry Alvarez and Joel Maturi, will maintain control over the cup.
"We've had strong rivalries with our other sports and I think it's natural," Alvarez said in a press conference Wednesday. "I had an all-coaches meeting yesterday and presented this to them and I think it excited all the coaches and me in particular because it gives us an opportunity to compete for something together. It should be a…very competitive battle between the two schools."
TDS, a telecommunications company based in Madison, will sponsor the cup.
Jonathan Linder contributed to this report.
Border Battle Cup pits Minnesota against Wisconsin
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