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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Wisconsin Football Head Coach Luke Fickell on the Barry Alvarez Field at Camp Randall Stadium. 

Big Ten releases guaranteed schedule opponents for 2024-28

The Badgers will play host to some of the most elite names in college football amid the new conference merger.

The Big Ten Conference announced conference opponents for the 2024 to 2028 football seasons on Oct. 5. 

The next five seasons of football include the expansion teams — totaling 18 teams in the Big Ten — with the conference adding the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of South California (USC), the University of Oregon and the University of Washington.

In addition to conference matchups against the ex-Pac-12 teams, Wisconsin will also go toe-to-toe with a few new foes in the upcoming years. The Badgers agreed to play the Alabama Crimson Tide in both 2024 and 2025, with Wisconsin hosting in 2024 and going on the road to Tuscaloosa in 2025. Wisconsin inked a similar deal to play the Pittsburgh Panthers at home in 2026 and on the road in 2027.

Wisconsin will also battle the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in 2026 in a duel at Lambeau Field. The Badgers scored a 16-14 triumph against the No. 5 Louisiana State Tigers the last time they played a non-conference matchup at the historic stadium in 2016.

The Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe, the annual matchup between Wisconsin and the rival Minnesota Golden Gophers, will still be played every season. The rivalry is one of 12 protected matchups that will be played every year regardless of other scheduling factors. Wisconsin and Iowa will also play in a protected matchup each season.

2024

Home games: Western Michigan, South Dakota, Alabama, Oregon, Pennsylvania State, Purdue, Minnesota

Away games: Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Rutgers, USC

Key matchups: Daunting matchups include games against Alabama, Oregon, Penn State and USC, all of which are ranked in the top 11 in the Associated Press Poll as of Week 6 this year. The Badgers will need to capitalize on their homefield advantage to beat some of the premier teams in college football.

2025

Home games: Miami (Ohio), Middle Tennessee State, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Ohio State, Washington

Away games: Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, Oregon, Minnesota

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Key matchups: This might be the most rigorous schedule for the Badgers as they travel to Bryant-Denny Stadium to play Alabama and to Michigan Stadium, known as "The Big House," to take on Michigan. Wisconsin will also square off against Ohio State and Washington at Camp Randall Stadium.

2026

Home games: Western Illinois, Pittsburgh, Michigan State, Rutgers, USC, Minnesota

Away games: Notre Dame (at Lambeau Field), Iowa, Maryland, Pennsylvania State, Purdue, UCLA

Key matchups: The Badgers' most difficult games in 2026 will be on the road, taking on Penn State and UCLA while also making the drive to Green Bay to take on Notre Dame. 

2027

Home games: Southern Illinois, Colorado State, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Penn State, UCLA

Away games: Pittsburgh, Illinois, Michigan State, USC, Minnesota

Key matchups: Flipping the script from 2026, most of Wisconsin’s tough matchups will be in Madison as they host UCLA for the first time as well as Penn State and Iowa. The Badgers will also make their first trip to USC in the 18-team Big Ten era.

2028

Home games: Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon

Away games: Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Washington

Key matchups: The Badgers have not set any non-conference matchups for 2028, but they will take on Michigan and Oregon at home in conference play. They will also make their first trips to Ohio State and Washington in the new schedules.

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