Supremacy in Big Ten on line in Badgers-Buckeyes

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There was a time when Ohio State could use the week of the Wisconsin game to prepare for other, bigger showdowns.

From 1948 to 1980, the Buckeyes were 32-1 against the Badgers. Most games were over before fans found their seats.

‘‘I was here a long time ago, and it was not a rivalry,’’ said Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, a graduate assistant with the Buckeyes in the 1980s. ‘‘But you have to give credit to Wisconsin . . . it’s one of, if not the best program in the Big Ten right now.’’

From 1981-87, the Badgers won six times in seven meetings — after winning just seven times in the previous 68 years.

Each side has been trading welts and bruises in equal measure in what has become one of the most anticipated games on their schedules.

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