Notre Dame & Wisconsin To Play In 2020, 2021: 3 Things That Matter
The Irish and Badgers will face off in non-conference play three years from now in a home-and-home … sort of.
According to the fine folk over at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin and Notre Dame will reportedly play each other in a few years, in what should be an interesting regional battle for both teams. Here are the three things that matter.
1. Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin will be headliner showdowns
And it’s not just because of the brand names. The venues will make this a big-time battle for both programs.
The first matchup will be in 2020 when Notre Dame makes the trip up to Lambeau Field in Green Bay – where the Badgers beat LSU to start last season. While Notre Dame is a national program, there’s a big contingent of fans in Chicago, and it’s only around 300 miles between South Bend and Green Bay.
The second game will be in Soldier Field in Chicago in 2021. Again, it’ll be like a home game for the Irish – in theory – but it’s an easy trip for Badger fans from Milwaukee and Madison.
2. The two programs continue to push themselves
UW Athletic Director Barry Alvarez put the call out a few years ago that he was sick and tired of big-time programs playing cupcake non-conference schedules, and he made sure to change things up with his own football team.
Sometimes it turns out to be a plus – like surviving LSU last year – and other times it’s volutneering to get kicked in the teeth – like starting the 2015 season against Alabama.
This season, the Badgers have to go to BYU – a more dangerous road trip than it might appear – but the Cougars have to come to Camp Randall next season.
There’s a date at South Florida to start out the 2019 season, a home-and-home with Syracuse in 2020 and 2021, Washington State in 2022 and 2023, Virginia Tech in 2024 and 2025, and now this.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame never ducks anyone, and these two games will make their respective seasons just that much harder. Along with its Friends With Benefits relationship with the ACC, the Irish has to face Texas, Purdue, at USC, Louisville and Navy in 2020, and at Purdue, Navy, and USC in 2021.
3. The two have played before
It’s an interesting matchup for Alvarez, who took over the Wisconsin head coaching job after helping to lead Notre Dame to the 1988 national title as the defensive coordinator.
Notre Dame and Wisconsin last played in 1964, when the two kicked off the season with a 31-7 Irish win. They also started out the 1963 campaign with a 14-9 Badger victory.
In all, the two played 16 times with Notre Dame going 8-6-2. However, Wisconsin dominated the series early on.
Of course, you remember the 54-0 UW victory in 1900. Notre Dame wasn’t able to keep up the momentum from the blowout win over American Medical with a 58-0 loss to Wisconsin in 1904 – but followed it up with a 17-5 win at Ohio Medical.