Wisconsin's season opener against UNLV has officially been moved up two days to Thursday, Sept. 1, UW announced Thursday. Kickoff time and television arrangements have yet to be announced.
Here is the official UW release sent out this afternoon:
Wisconsin is so excited to start the 2011 football season that the Badgers and their opening-game opponent, UNLV, have decided to move their season-opener up two days. The game will now be played at Camp Randall Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 1 with the game time to be announced at a later date.
"To be able to open up the college football season at home, in front of our tremendous fans at Camp Randall Stadium in a Thursday night game, something that has only been done here one other time, will be very special," head coach Bret Bielema said. "It will be great national exposure for our program and a terrific way to kick off the 2011 season."
I'm curious if fans are excited about this move. When I was a student at UW, we used to love the idea of playing a football game on a Thursday night, especially on a day when we didn't have classes, which will be the case Sept. 1. But I also realize most of the fans inside Camp Randall won't be students and many of them will be traveling from all over the state of Wisconsin and beyond to get to the game.
I'm also not sure I buy the idea of this game giving Wisconsin more exposure on Thursday night. It might help that it will be one of the first games played all year so college football fans across the country will watch, but Thursday night games don't typically get great ratings and there's talk this game will be on the Big Ten Network and not ESPN.