MADISON — It’s still a few years away, but for the first time since 1982, the Wisconsin football team will open its season against a Big Ten team.
The school announced the schedule for 2020 and 2021 on Tuesday with a conference opponent serving as the Badgers first game both years. Indiana will visit Camp Randall Stadium on Sept. 5, 2020, while Penn State will come to Madison in 2021 to begin the season on Sept. 4.
That Indiana game will serve as the first conference home game to open a season since Wisconsin knocked off No. 1 Michigan in 1981. The Badgers lost the following year in Ann Arbor, which was the last time they faced a Big Ten team in their opener.
Among the notable aspects outside of how the Badgers will open the season, is how they’ll close it. Since 2014, Wisconsin had closed its season against Minnesota — the school most viewed as a traditional rival. And it will be that way in 2017, 2018 and 2019. But come 2020 and 2021, the Badgers will face Iowa in their finale. The Hawkeyes have closed their seasons the last three years against Nebraska on Black Friday, and it’s unclear why the Big Ten decided to move away from that arrangement.