ESPN Wisconsin

Wisconsin still public enemy No. 1 in Gopherland

May 17, 2012 -- 5:38pm

Still public enemy No. 1 in Gopherland

By TOM LEA
tlea@espnwisconsin.com

MADISON – There was once a time when Bret Bielema justified going for a two-point conversion with a 27-point lead because it was highlighted on a situational coaching card he carries in his back pocket.

The fact the team was playing Minnesota, UW’s most storied rival, had absolutely nothing to do with it (note: sarcasm). Just like Bielema’s sprint to midfield after a win in the Metrodome to shake Tim Brewster’s hand in the briefest of brief moments wasn’t anything other than sincere (again, sarcasm).

That, according to KFAN’s Justin Gaard, is what makes the recently one-sided rivalry between Wisconsin and Minnesota fun.

“I love him because you want to have an enemy, right,” Gaard said. “That’s what makes sports fun. You want to have a guy that’s going to go for two when he’s up by 27 points. You want to have a guy that’s going to let his team cut down the goal posts with the axe last year. You kind of like that. It makes it all the better when you beat him.

“The problem is they’ve (Minnesota) never beaten him. So it’s a little bit of an issue.”

The Gophers have never beaten a Wisconsin team coached by Bret Bielema. In fact, Minnesota has not beaten Wisconsin since its 37-34 win inside the Metrodome in 2003.

During that eight year streak there have been a number of instances when Bielema has done something to draw the ire of Minnesota fans, essentially pouring salt into the wound of one of the more disparaging losing streaks in program history.

“Wisconsin is definitely public enemy number one around here,” Gaard said. “It’ll be a good day if it ever happens when they get that axe back. Believe me. There will be a lot of happy fans and a lot of happy coaches. There will be a lot of anti-Bielema people that will enjoy that day.

“Let me just say it that way, if and when it happens.”

Listen to Gaard's Jump Around interview here.  

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