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Badger Bits: Should Wisconsin wait to play LSU after 2016?

Wisconsin-LSU is nearing "done deal" status -- we think. UW officials reportedly haven't agreed to a 2016 game in Green Bay, presumably because the Badgers' schedule that year is purely insane. Would a later return game vs. LSU be a better idea?

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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.

Stay tuned.

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
Sept. 17 TBA
Sept. 24 TBA
Oct. 1 at Michigan
Oct. 8 at Michigan State
Oct. 15 Ohio State
Oct. 22 at Iowa
Oct. 29 Nebraska
Nov. 5 at Northwestern
Nov. 12 Illinois
Nov. 19 at Purdue
Nov. 26 Minnesota
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.

My god.

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)
2019 Washington (8/31)
2020 TBA*
2021 TBA*
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.


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