LSU and Wisconsin are working on a possible series, but where the games will be played is becoming a major hang-up in going forward.
Both teams agree the series should be played at neutral sites, but Wisconsin wants to play the game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay and LSU wants to play the game at Reliant Stadium in Houston or Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
And neither teams seems to be budging on the destination.
Assuming the teams agree to play some sort of home-and-home series and not just one game, playing at Lambeau and then in Texas seems like a win-win for both parties in terms of recruiting and fan attraction. But LSU athletic director Joe Alleva isn’t a fan of playing in Wisconsin and is waiting for the SEC to decide on a nine-game conference schedule before moving forward with scheduling any dates against major opponents.
The SEC is currently deciding whether it teams should move to a nine-game conference schedule in 2014. The conference currently plays eight. There’s not a lot of support for the nine-game schedule by the league’s teams, but with the Pac-12 and Big 12 playing nine conference games and the Big Ten moving to that model as well, the SEC has to decide whether it wants to keep up with the rest of college football.
Some athletic directors, including Alleva, are OK with a nine-game conference schedule as long as the conference does away with permanent partners. LSU currently plays Florida every year.
Currently, the nonconference games on LSU’s 2014 schedule are Louisiana-Monroe, New Mexico State and Georgia Southern.
In the past five years, LSU has played a healthy mixture of teams from the Big Six conferences, highlighted by the 2011 game against Oregon, which was a must-watch for any college football fan. Wisconsin hasn't been nearly as daring. It's played Pac-12 opponents each of the last three years in Oregon State and Arizona State in 2010, but that's hardly something to write home about.
Wisconsin is playing Alabama in the 2015 season opener and adding a team like LSU definitely shows the changing mindset coach Gary Andersen is bringing to the Badgers.
LSU and Wisconsin have only met twice — 1971-72 — but this would be a great game for college football and a great game for both teams as they vie for spots in the new college football playoff.
I think many college football fans were hoping that the limited spots in the new college football playoff might make tough nonconference games the norm or even bring back some of the rivalries that have been lost due to expansion. Hopefully, LSU and Wisconsin can work this game out and other major conference teams will follow suit.
- - -