Who'll lead the Leaders? A lot riding on No. 23 Wisconsin's meeting with No. 4 Ohio State

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.

But then coaches Dave McClain, Barry Alvarez and Bret Bielema brought respect and stability to Wisconsin.

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

Now the game is truly a rivalry, with each side trading welts, bruises and victories in equal measure in what has become one of the most anticipated games on their schedules.

Naturally, a lot is riding on Saturday night's meeting between the fourth-ranked Buckeyes and No. 23 Badgers.