The Big Ten announced Friday that Wisconsin’s 2018 game against Western Kentucky had been moved from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31, making it the second straight year the Badgers will open on a Friday night. This season, a crowd of 75,324 watched Wisconsin beat Utah State 59-10. It was the first time since 2002 the Badgers had started the season on a Friday.
There has been pushback by various organizations, especially the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association, to Friday night games with the main complaint centering around the impact on high school football. This year, a number of schools in the Madison area moved games to Thursday night to avoid a conflict with the Badgers.
When the announcement was made last November that the Big Ten would be playing more on Friday night, Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez issued a statement saying the Badgers were open to it in “selected years” but only for games played prior to Labor Day weekend.