The Brigham Young Cougars and Wisconsin Badgers will meet at Madison, Wisconsin, on November 9, 2013. This match up had been rumored for over a year, via mutual high school recruit Vince Biegel who ended up signing a letter of intent to play for Wisconsin last February. In recent weeks the rumors became louder. Now both schools have made it official.
The complete BYU press release can be read here.
The BYU press release calls this the “first game in a planned series.” Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema is excited for future games with BYU.
BYU and Wisconsin have met once before way back on September 20, 1980. BYU had changed quarterbacks with 1979 starter Marc Wilson having graduated. The 2013 Cougars will be in the same position as they replace signal caller Riley Nelson. BYU won the 1980 game 28-3, and, subsequently, holds a 1-0 edge in the series. It was only the second time that BYU had played a team from the Big Ten conference, and it was the Cougars’ first win (a 38-37 loss to Indiana in the 1979 Holiday Bowl was the first Big Ten meeting).
Both programs have come a long ways since that initial meeting. BYU was just beginning to develop a national identity. With the passing game as its forte, BYU won over 100 games in the 1980s and won the 1984 National Championship. BYU played in a New Year’s Day bowl game following the 1996 season.
Wisconsin has built its program on a power run game. Since 1980, the Badgers have won five Big Ten Conference Championships, played in five Rose Bowls, and won three of them.
BYU and Wisconsin have both celebrated a Heisman Trophy winner (Ty Detmer, 1990, and Ron Dayne, 1999) and a Doak Walker Winner (Luke Staley, 2001, and Ron Dayne, 1999) during the last 32 years. Detmer and Dayne were the NCAA record holders for most career yardage at the end of their careers with Detmer having 15,031 yards passing and Dayne having 6,397 yards rushing.
Over the past six seasons, each school has had nearly identical records: 60-19 for Wisconsin; 60-18 for BYU.
Just as the1980 win over Wisconsin helped establish BYU’s national image as a new force in college football, a win over Winconsin in 2013 should go a long way in helping the Cougars validate themselves as a newly independent school that should be nationally respected.
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