On Monday afternoon the Badgers announced some huge news about Wisconsin playing a home and home series with the Alabama Crimson Tide. It’s obviously great for the program, especially because it’s a home and home series on the campuses of these great schools. Over the next decade plus the Badgers have non-conference series with Notre Dame, Washington State, Pittsburgh, UCLA, Alabama and Virginia Tech. While that’s obviously huge and very exciting it also got me thinking... who should the Badgers try and schedule next, and what would be a dream home and home series to be able to see and/or attend?
First, lets talk criteria. The teams I selected are not based solely on who has the best program in college football. I took into account program history, current success, game day tradition, pageantry, uniforms etc. Overall, I based this on the dream scenario that if I was able to attend these five home and homes, where would be the most fun and the coolest places to go.
Lets get started.
I’ve never been to Austin, Texas but I’ve heard a lot of amazing things. I’ve also heard its a lot like Madison. We’re basically Austin of the north, right? While those claims may or may not be true, I still think Texas would be an awesome series for the Badgers. Obviously Texas football is a good match-up for anyone, but to be able to go to Austin would be a bucket list item. Good food, live music, good drinks... what more could you really ask for? Oh, a great football game with two storied programs on top of that? Yeah, i’ll take it.
Wisconsin has only played Texas once, back in 1939, but they have played six times in basketball including a memorable trip to Austin in 2008.
I know what you’re thinking, LSU again? Really? But hear me out. If we are talking home and home series LSU has to be in the conversation. Tiger Stadium and Camp Randall are two of the greatest college sports venues in existence. While playing at Lambeau Field and NRG Stadium were certainly cool, it didn’t have the same feel as it would have in each teams home stadium.
If we’re talking tailgating, LSU and Wisconsin have to be toward the top of any list ranking college pregame food and drink makers. You can go down south and take in all the crawfish and bourbon your little heart desires from Friday evening to Saturday night (Editor’s note: Sunday morning?). If you still have the energy, you can also take a detour to the great city of New Orleans just a few hours south.
These two teams have played recently in football, so I have to imagine the dialogue is open to make something like this happen.
Tailgating on boats? Need I say more? “Sailgating” is what the locals call it and to me it sounds glorious. It’s a unique experience in the heart of a fun and vibrant city. Washington and Wisconsin seems like a no brainer series to me, so much so that this series was once scheduled for 2018 and 2021 but was canceled. These two teams have played a few times before, most recently in 1992 when the Badgers traveled to Seattle.
However, both programs have changed tremendously since then and a series like this would be a lot of fun for both fan bases. It would also help the Big Ten and Pac-12 in their quest to beef up the non-conference schedule and get back to the College Football Playoff. So pack up your boat shoes and let’s battle to see who the real UW is!
I, of course, had to have another SEC program on this list, and with LSU and Alabama already covered I decided to go with Ole Miss although Tennessee, Auburn and Georgia all seem like a good time.
However, Ole Miss sounds like its own animal. “The Grove” is a ten acre tailgating area littered with pop up tents. It was originally started by the fraternity and sorority houses and eventually grew into one of the biggest game day traditions in the sport. So much so that they have a saying of “we may not win every game, but we never lose a party.” That to me sounds like a challenge that Badger fans would likely be up for.
While Mississippi has struggled recently on the field, I doubt they’ll be down for too long. Since the Badgers are scheduled out until 2031, they have some time to improve. See you soon. I mean doesn’t this look like a place you want to be?
I’m going to stop you before you say it. I know we have this series scheduled already and the first game kicks off next fall. Unfortunately, its just not the same. Sure it’s cool to go to Lambeau Field and Solider Field but as someone who has been to both Madison and South Bend for a game...it just simply doesn’t compare.
Notre Dame Stadium is an incredible venue that every college football fan should try and get to. I myself was there when they took on Stanford and made the goal line stop to win (even though Stepfan Taylor scored). It was an awesome experience and the fans were genuinely nice and welcoming, maybe because I decided to root for their team for the week. I have to imagine Notre Dame fans would enjoy Madison just as much. So rather than giving NFL owners more money, lets get another series scheduled in the places they belong.
Where do you want to see the Badgers travel in future non-conference games?