PROVO — For nearly two years, there have been rumors and hints that BYU could be playing a much-anticipated football series with Big Ten power Wisconsin.
On Thursday, the Wisconsin State Journal reported that the Cougars and Badgers have finalized a home-and-home agreement, with BYU visiting Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., in 2013.
Tom Mulhern, who covers Wisconsin football for the WSJ, tweeted the news via his Twitter account. Later, Mulhern reported, "Based on open dates in the two schedules, the BYU game would likely be on Sept. 14."
Added Mulhern, "A UW spokesman said the school is waiting on administrative issues before making the official announcement of the 2013 schedule."
It is not yet known when the Badgers will visit Provo, according to Mulhern.
When asked about the report, BYU associate athletic director Duff Tittle said via email, "As we've indicated in the past regarding scheduling, when we have a game or series to announce we'll let everyone know."
If the Cougars do play Wisconsin in 2013, it would give BYU an arduous schedule that season. BYU is slated to host Texas, Boise State, Utah, and Georgia Tech, with road games at Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Hawaii, Utah State, Houston and possibly Washington State.
BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall told reporters in January that the 2013 schedule "looks really good, with some strong middle-to-end (opponents) … 2013 will be the toughest schedule we will have played. When you see it, you will say, 'What, is he crazy?' But it is good."
A couple of months later, during spring drills in March, Mendenhall was asked about the possibility of scheduling Wisconsin and he replied, "there's a good chance that could happen."
In February, BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said, "As we look to 2013, you're going to see a trend of tougher and tougher teams. I've got to be careful as we look at (future schedules) that we don't overdo it."
Holmoe added that an announcement about scheduling a couple of high profile teams would come soon. Weeks later, BYU announced it would be playing at Nebraska on Sept. 5, 2015.
"We've been working on these games for years," Holmoe said. "It's gone back-and-forth. We just need to finish off the contracts. These are two teams that I think a lot of our fans are going to like."
In June 2011, high school recruit Vince Biegel told a reporter that BYU and Wisconsin had signed a deal to play in 2014 and 2015. Biegel, the son of former Cougar linebacker Rocky Biegel, was recruited by both schools and verbally committed to the Badgers.
BYU and Wisconsin have met only once in football, with the Cougars defeating the Badgers at Camp Randall, 28-3. Holmoe played on the BYU team that beat Wisconsin that season.
The Cougars and Badgers played in basketball last November, with Wisconsin emerging victorious, 73-56, at the Chicago Invitational Challenge in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
#Badgers have finalized home-and-home football series with BYU, which will come to Camp Randall in 2013. No word yet on return date.— Tom Mulhern (@TomMulhernWSJ) July 19, 2012