You could forgive a lot of Big Ten fans and fans on one side of the annual Border Battle between Wisconsin and Minnesota if they thought this thing was dead. After all, Paul Bunyan's Axe has resided in the trophy case at Camp Randall for the past nine years.
But, then something interesting happens to remind us all that both sides hate each other regardless of what goes down over nearly a decade. That something this time around happened on Sunday as a big time tight end prospect Gaelin Elmore from the state of Wisconsin (Somerset, WI) chose Minnesota over the "home state" Badgers.
Don't get it twisted, this wasn't a case of the Gophers picking up a player Wisconsin wasn't offering or something of that nature, these two schools were deep in the recruitment of him and wanted him on their roster. For Wisconsin fans he was the last piece of what had been dubbed the "Super Six" (the top six players in the state for the 2014 class, all five ahead of him had already committed to UW).
Reaction on both sides was interesting. Gophers fans delighted in "stealing" one away from the Badgers and began taking it as a sign that they are about to take things over from their rivals to the east.
— GopherHole.com (@GopherHole) June 17, 2013
On the Badgers side of things there were a lot of people questioning the wisdom of deciding to go to a school that hasn't won a Big Ten championship since 1967 over one that was after you just as hard and has three straight Big Ten championship trophies.
A TE from WI commits to the Gophers? WTF! Did this kid ever hear of Daniels, Beckum. Graham, and Kendricks #Badgers
— Aaron James Jones (@Aaron_J_Jones) June 16, 2013
That reaction was one of the few mild ones and overall the reactions on both sides via Twitter and Facebook were more than brutal to say the least – to the point that giving them more press is not worth it.
Apparently there's nothing like a recruiting battle to really amp up a rivalry that has been losing it's luster over the past 10 years or so. Now, if only Jerry Kill's bunch could find a way to win a game over the Badgers on the field – then we'll really have one of the best rivalries in college football back.