CHICAGO (WSAU) The Wisconsin football team and its counterparts in the Big Ten will move to a nine-game conference schedule starting in 2017. The league made that announcement today. Each school will host five conference games one year, and four the next.
Wisconsin will not host five Big Ten games until 2018. Right now, teams play eight conference games per year. And at the recent league meetings in Chicago, Badgers’ coach Bret Bielema said he hoped the number would have stayed at eight. He said the Southeastern Conference still plays eight league games per year. And by playing a ninth, Bielema says the odds get bigger that the league’s best team will get an extra loss – and it could keep them out of a B-C-S bowl or the B-C-S championship game. Also, Bielema lobbied to have conference games earlier in the season – perhaps on the opening weekend. Right now, teams play four non-conference contests before starting their league schedules.