Who Should Be Wisconsin’s 10th Conference Opponent This Fall?
Big Ten is changing their conference. It is a huge topic and one we have covered with a couple of different angles already. One thing that we haven’t discussed is the schedule. The Big Ten added that they’re going to likely play the division games early in case there is another shutdown later this Fall. To me, that feels like something they could potentially wait on and see what the case rate looks like in three weeks or so. But this could be a way for them to cover their ass in case shit hits the fan and the season has to cancel, at least they can crown a division winner. Wisconsin does need to add a fifth game to their schedule. Who could that be?
Let’s start with the 10th opponent, and then we’ll work our way through a new schedule for Wisconsin. There are four teams that Wisconsin is not playing this year. Those four teams are Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State, and Rutgers. Big Ten sees rating gold having Wisconsin playing either Ohio State or Penn State. But you hope they do not look at the 10th opponent that way. How the Big Ten should approach is did they play each other last year? Wisconsin did not play Penn State or Rutgers last year. Pending on schedules, either of those teams should get assigned to Wisconsin. Badgers fans will not be happy with Penn State, but that’s what I’m going with as a guess.
So what could a division-heavy schedule look like? There is some talk that college football will be delayed by a couple of weeks. To me, that’s kind of silly. Why not add more bye weeks to your schedule? Even if you’re playing 10 games versus 12 then if heaven forbid, there is a serious COVID outbreak, you could have a bye week. But that’s too easy of an answer. For the sake of this exercise, let’s say college football begins a week after the NFL.
- Saturday, September 19th: Wisconsin vs. Illinois
- Saturday, September 26th: Wisconsin vs. Minnesota
- Saturday, October 3rd: Wisconsin at Northwestern
- Saturday, October 10th: Wisconsin at Purdue
- Saturday, October 17th: BYE
- Saturday, October 24th: Wisconsin vs. Nebraska
- Saturday, October 31st: Wisconsin at Iowa
- Saturday, November 7th: Wisconsin vs. Indiana
- Saturday, November 14th: Wisconsin at Michigan
- Saturday, November 21st: Wisconsin vs. Penn State
- Saturday, November 28th: Wisconsin at Maryland
This seems like a logical schedule. Big Ten divisional opponents are done with by end of October and the month of November will be for the out of division games. It struck me that this means Michigan-Ohio State is probably be played in October, not November, which will be very very weird. All of this is very weird. But as they say all the time in today’s society, it’s a new normal.