The University of Wisconsin athletic department has never been above thinking outside the box, and on Tuesday they announced one of the more unique scheduling agreements involving a college football game weâ€™ve ever heard about.
UW will play host to Conference-USA foe Western Kentucky to open the 2018 football season, but thatâ€™s only half of this agreement. Also included in the agreement was a home-and-home basketball series between the two schools for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.
This isnâ€™t your normal situation for scheduling a “Group of 5” opponent either, as Western Kentucky went 12-2 last season, won the Miami Beach Bowl and was ranked No. 24 in the final AP poll of the season.
Filling a one-off game in football is always tricky, and that is what necessitated something different to get the job done.
“You have be creative in what youâ€™re doing with scheduling â€“ to fill your schedule and match the open dates with someone else,” athletic director Barry Alvarez said, via UWBadgers.com. “Sometimes you have to do these things to make it all work.”
Making it work means a 2017 matchup at the Kohl Center in basketball and a rare trip to a non-power conference school for the Badgers in 2018. Usually those types of matchups are at home or in neutral site locations.
According to Andy Baggotâ€™s reporting on UWBadgers.com, it was actually Western Kentucky that came to UW with the proposal. It allows the teams to not have to worry about a single-game payment and gives two interesting football and basketball schools a chance to meet in a unique way.
Wisconsin was apparently looking to fill its opening game void with a neutral site game, but it just didnâ€™t happen for them. Instead, it will have a unique challenge ahead on the football field and the basketball hardwood.