Wisconsin Football: Ranking their opponents for the 2018 season Part 1

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 24: The Wisconsin Badgers mascot performs against the Florida Gators during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional at Madison Square Garden on March 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 24: The Wisconsin Badgers mascot performs against the Florida Gators during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional at Madison Square Garden on March 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 25: Leon Jacobs #32, Garret Dooley #5, Chikwe Obasih #34 of the Wisconsin Badgers cheer on teammate Alec James #57 as he pretends to chop down the goal post with Paul Bunyan’s Axe after defeating the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the game on November 25, 2017 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Badgers defeated the Golden Gophers 31-0. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)\
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 25: Leon Jacobs #32, Garret Dooley #5, Chikwe Obasih #34 of the Wisconsin Badgers cheer on teammate Alec James #57 as he pretends to chop down the goal post with Paul Bunyan’s Axe after defeating the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the game on November 25, 2017 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Badgers defeated the Golden Gophers 31-0. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)\ /

7. Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Badgers have beaten the Gophers for 137 straight years and have officially adopted the axe as their own trophy. Even though that number may be a bit high, it probably won’t end this season as the Gophers are struggling to contend in the Big Ten.

The Gophers have P.J. Flex returning for Year 2 and hope to row the boat out of awfulness and into mediocracy (sorry, I just couldn’t resist). They were 5-7 last season and should have about the same record in 2018.

The Gophers are likely to start a freshman at quarterback and that could make for a very trying season. Outside of running back Rodney Smith and wide receiver Tyler Johnson, the playmakers are far and few between. However, they’ll be propped up by a great offensive line. Overall, Minnesota has a long way to go to compete with Wisconsin and will fall to the Badgers in this one.

That wraps up Part 1. Part 2 will be released on Saturday, July 14. Make sure to check back in for the top six teams the Badgers will face during their 2018 season.