PROVO (ABC 4 Sports) - With Wednesday's release of Wisconsin’s 2013 football schedule, BYU and the University of Wisconsin have announced the first game in a planned series between the Cougars and Badgers.
BYU will travel to Madison to play Wisconsin on Nov. 9, 2013 in Camp Randall Stadium. Future plans for the series will be announced at a later date once details are finalized.
“Wisconsin is consistently among the top programs in the nation and we are excited to have them as a future opponent,” BYU director of athletics Tom Holmoe said. “I was on the 1980 BYU team that last went to Camp Randall Stadium and it is truly one of the great experiences in college football. We look forward to this game and ongoing relationship.”
Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema anticipates a developing rivalry with BYU now that the Cougars have been added to Wisconsin's 2013 home schedule and future dates are also being discussed.
“I’m very excited because hopefully it’s something that will continue to grow from here,” Bielema said. “There have been talks beyond next year and that’s very intriguing to me.”
The Cougars and Badgers have both enjoyed tremendous success as football programs. In the last six years under Bielema, Wisconsin has achieved a 60-19 record while BYU has earned a 60-18 mark under Bronco Mendenhall in the same timeframe. The Cougars and Badgers are joined by only nine other programs in being ranked in the final Top 25 in one of the two major polls in at least five of the past six seasons.
The 2011 Big Ten champions finished last season with an 11-3 record and a final No. 10 ranking in the AP Poll and No. 11 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Badgers have gone to 10 straight bowl games, including back-to-back Rose Bowls the last two seasons. Wisconsin has won the Big Ten conference title 13 times in school history.
BYU is coming off its first season as a football independent in 2011 with a 10-3 record and a 24-21 victory over Tulsa in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. The Cougars finished the year ranked No. 25 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. BYU has 18 top-25 finishes since 1974, including five of the past six seasons.
BYU and Wisconsin have met once in the past with the Cougars earning a 28-3 win in Madison in 1980. BYU led just 7-0 at halftime but the defense held the Badgers to just 140 total yards and forced two fumbles in the second half to help fuel a 21-point offensive attack from Jim McMahon and the Cougars. McMahon was 12 of 15 for 175 yards and three touchdowns in the second half, finishing the day with 337 passing yards.
The Cougars began playing football in 1922. In 87 seasons BYU has earned 23 conference titles and appeared in 30 bowl games, winning five of its last six bowl appearances. BYU won the National Championship in 1984 and is the only school with at least one winner of the following major awards: Heisman Trophy, Outland Trophy, Doak Walker Award, Davey O'Brien Award and Sammy Baugh Trophy.