This afternoon, Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema grabbed his cell phone and tweeted:
Also trying to lock up a home and home contest with Notre Dame or Nebraska for the future. (Home 2012 away 2015). Would be fun for WI fans.
Could Nebraska add Wisconsin to their 2012 and 2015 schedules? Yes, but at a price.
It's a quality opponent, and after ticket holders have had to stomach the Sun Belt teams last season, and three more money games this fall, I'm all in favor of bulking up the schedule a wee bit. It improves Nebraska's exposure on television, and it's a reasonable distance for fans to drive to the game.
But there is a downside to this proposal. In both 2012 and 2015, Nebraska already has away non-conference games scheduled. In 2012, Nebraska is headed to UCLA and in 2015, Nebraska travels to Miami. From a budget perspective, Nebraska can only play one non-conference foe on the road each season. Or maybe more accurately, Nebraska needs the revenue from three non-conference home games each season to power the athletic department. So this proposal doesn't really fit, sadly.
Now, playing in Lincoln in 2015 and Madison in 2016? That fits: Nebraska has three home games scheduled for 2016 in the non-conference portion of the schedule: Fresno State, Tennessee, and Wyoming. A road trip to Wisconsin would fill that schedule out nicely.
Is that too much of a schedule? Perhaps...but is that a bad thing? Shouldn't college football teams be encouraged to play that type of a schedule? One of the worst things that has happened to college football in recent years was the removal of strength of schedule from the BCS formula. In college football today, it makes little sense to risk a loss when there's so much to gain from playing in a BCS bowl game. See Texas' gutless schedule last season.
What's your take? Would you like to see Nebraska play Wisconsin in 2015 and 2016? Or would you like to only play six home games in 2012, and play the Badgers in 2012 and 2015?