Ryan Saunders’ excitement has been growing for the looming matchup between his former school, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Saunders and Gophers coach P.J. Fleck are good friends.

“I was just texting with Heather, P.J.’s wife, because I want to make sure to give him some space right now,” Saunders said. “I know it’s a big one. I’m rowing the boat. They got our full support.

Saunders and the Wolves are in talks with ESPN currently to see what kind of role Saunders may have on ESPN's "College GameDay," which is coming to campus. The Wolves do have a practice scheduled for noon Saturday.

“I’m hoping that it works out timing-wise where I at least get to be around for part of the festivities … ” Saunders said. “We love them and I love what [Fleck] is doing. He’s a great ambassador for the U of M.”

CHRIS HINE