Presuming Barry Alvarez wasn't wildly speaking out of turn, ESPN's College GameDay will be present for Wisconsin's 2016 season opener against LSU at Lambeau Field on Sept. 3.
Speaking at the Wisconsin Sports Awards on Tuesday, Alvarez said, "I don't think they've announced it, but I think they'll have College GameDay there." ESPN has yet to announce its plans for its flagship college football pre-game program, but considering the brand names involved in this game and the unique location it'll be played in, this is far from surprising.
Wisconsin's last involvement in a GameDay game was last season's opener against Alabama at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Crimson Tide won that game 35-17.
GameDay last came to Madison for Wisconsin's 48-17 win over Nebraska in 2011.
Of course, while Wisconsin-LSU has long been considered a top GameDay contender for Week 1 of 2016, it has plenty of competition. Some other games that will kick off the season:
- Alabama vs. USC (Sept. 3, time TBD)
- Clemson vs. Auburn (Sept. 3, time TBD)
- Oklahoma vs. Houston (Sept. 3, time TBD)
- Georgia vs. North Carolina (Sept. 3, time TBD)
- UCLA vs. Texas A&M (Sept. 3, time TBD)
- Notre Dame vs. Texas (Sept. 4, time TBD)
- Ole Miss vs. Florida State (Sept. 5, time TBD)
As you'll recall, this Lambeau Field game is the back end of the neutral-site pair of games that began with the 2014 season opener at NRG Stadium in Houston, a 28-24 come-from-behind win for the Tigers.
This year's version promises plenty of intrigue aside from the pairing of two big-name programs. LSU hired away defensive coordinator Dave Aranda from Wisconsin this off-season, and the Badgers enter the fall with the quarterback position the most unsettled it's been in quite some time (and that's saying something, considering the oft-frustrating Joel Stave-Tanner McEvoy back-and-forth).
LSU, meanwhile, nearly fired Les Miles despite a 9-3 season. The Tigers opened 7-0 before losing three consecutive games to Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss in November. A number of high-profile departures to the NFL also elevate the pressure on Miles's staff entering 2016; for more on the Tigers, check out AthlonSports.com's spring preview of LSU.
As for the Wisconsin Sports Awards, Wisconsin's men's basketball team picked up the American Family Team of the Year award, and a number of notable current and former Badgers made appearances.