We thought we had it all last night, when comments from LSU's athletic director indicated the Tigers would finally play Wisconsin in 2014 and 2016. The report indicated the two teams would open 2014 in Houston before the second game in 2016 at Green Bay.
Yet almost as quickly as the reporting from Scott Rabalais of the Advocate in Baton Rouge surfaced, Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel walked it back. Sort of.
Alleva told The Advocate the contracts -- for a game in 2014 in Houston and the 2016 return game on Sept. 3 at Lambeau Field -- would be signed next week.
However, I was told by a UW official that no Lambeau date has been finalized and the parties were still talking.
Considering the difficulty of UW's 2016 Big Ten schedule it appears UW officials would prefer a return game against LSU in a later season.
Emphasis mine, because as we've laid out relentlessly this offseason, Wisconsin's 2016 schedule is bonkers:
|Sept. 3||LSU (in Green Bay)?|
|Sept. 10||at Virginia Tech|
|Oct. 1||at Michigan|
|Oct. 8||at Michigan State|
|Oct. 15||Ohio State|
|Oct. 22||at Iowa|
|Nov. 5||at Northwestern|
|Nov. 19||at Purdue|
|Dec. 3||Big Ten Championship Game|
Wisconsin could open vs. LSU before travelling to Virginia Tech the following week. Perhaps the Badgers will then play Austin Peay twice over the next two weeks or something, because then Big Ten play starts at Michigan, at Michigan State and home vs. Ohio State.
Next comes a trip to Iowa, then Nebraska and a trip to Northwestern, which according to some accounts will be, like, really, really good by 2016. Illinois, at Purdue and Minnesota end the season.
Should Wisconsin push for a later return game vs. LSU? I'd venture that's a smart idea. Barry Alvarez & co., though, might need to wait until 2018.
Wisconsin's currently scheduled non-conference opponents for 2017 and beyond:
|2017||at BYU (9/2), Virginia Tech (9/9), at USU (9/16)|
|2018||at Washington (9/1)|
|2022||Washington State (TBA)|
|2023||at Washington State (TBA)|
*Wisconsin had previously scheduled a home-and-home with Maryland before the Terps joined the Big Ten.
I can't even fathom getting two decades into this century, so there's clearly a lot to settle here. But if you ask me, Wisconsin might do well to push LSU to 2018. In an ideal world, too, we'd get a natural home-and-home series in Baton Rouge and Madison. But that's what everyone really wants, and that just makes too much sense.
Honestly, I think social media talk -- particularly for college athletes, though Johnny Manziel has shown why people are always going to pay attention to it -- is extremely tiresome in sports. We have enough silly, extracurricular storylines to sort through beyond the online actions of teenagers, but hey -- things like this are clearly necessarily: UW has a set of guidelines to help its student-athletes avoid snafus on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like, Andy Baggot of the Wisconsin State Journal reports.
The previous coaching staff at Wisconsin really liked junior linebacker Derek Landisch, but Gary Andersen's new scheme has somewhat disrupted the timeline that seemingly pegged Landisch to replace Mike Taylor at weak-side linebacker. Jim Polzin of the Wisconsin State Journal says Landisch hasn't been deterred.
More LSU talk: TCU head coach Gary Patterson piled on Les Miles for reinstating running back Jeremy Hill after Hill pleaded guilty to battery following an arrest in an April bar fight. The money quote from Patterson:
"I'm sure if it was some opponent they'd beat by 100 points (the players) wouldn't have a vote. It's not my worry. I've got to play whoever they put on the field."
SI.com takes a look at five potential BCS sleepers. Rightfully so, Wisconsin's Week 3 opponent, Arizona State, is on the list.