Wisconsin has some of the most intriguing non-conference matchups in college football over the next three seasons.
The Badgers open this season against LSU in Houston. They take on Alabama next season in Arlington, Texas. They play LSU again in 2016 at Lambeau Field.
These neutral-site games are awesome, but Wisconsin thinks they would have been a little bit more awesome if they were being played on college campuses.
Wisconsin wanted true home-and-home series with both LSU and Alabama, but those SEC powers didn't want to do that.
"They weren’t interested,” Wisconsin athletics director Barry Alvarez told the Wisconsin State Journal.
“They wouldn’t tell you why,” Alvarez said. “They just weren’t interested.”
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It's curious, for sure. And while there could be any number of reasons the Bayou Bengals and Crimson Tide didn't want to head north, one's thoughts instantly turn to those teams not wanting to play at Camp Randall Stadium.
Whether scared of potentially chilly fall temperatures in Madison or the jumping around of the Badgers' faithful, those teams likely didn't want to risk early season losses in one of their annual national-championship pushes. The games in Texas — while technically neutral-site contests — will heavily favor the SEC teams as far as fan representation goes. They're just much closer geographically.
“Coach Alvarez did a great job of starting the whole conversation to getting this game and, as it went forward, it was very obvious that if we were going to play these games, they were going to get played on a neutral field,” Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen said in the same Wisconsin State Journal story.
“But you would love to play it in Camp Randall. Going down to Death Valley (the nickname for LSU's home stadium in Baton Rouge) would be a great experience, a very difficult place to play.”
Camp Randall: Where SEC teams won't dare venture.