PROVO — Since going independent, one of the challenges for the BYU football program has been scheduling meaningful, intriguing games in the month of November.
That won't be a problem in 2013.
BYU and the University of Wisconsin announced the first game of a series between the two programs Wednesday.
The Cougars will visit the Badgers on Nov. 9, 2013, at Camp Randall Stadium. Future plans for the series will be announced at a later date, according to BYU officials.
"Wisconsin is consistently among the top programs in the nation and we are excited to have them as a future opponent," BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said in a statement. "I was on the 1980 BYU team that last went to Camp Randall Stadium, and it is truly one of the great experiences in college football. We look forward to this game and ongoing relationship."
After traveling to Wisconsin on Nov. 9, BYU will visit Notre Dame following week, on Nov. 16.
Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema told UWBadgers.com that he is looking to develop a rivalry with BYU.
"I'm very excited because hopefully it's something that will continue to grow from here," Bielema said. "There have been talks beyond next year and that's very intriguing to me."
As for the 2013 game, UWBadgers.com reported that Bielema had to adjust the November portion of Wisconsin's schedule in order to make room for the Cougars.
"I think it showed willingness on our part to make this BYU game happen," Bielema said. "We did everything we could to make the 2013 schedule as good as we could."
The Badgers fit BYU in between a road game against Iowa and a home game against Indiana.
"It was the only way we could make it work," Bielema said. "A lot of teams in the SEC play backend (nonconference) games but they slide in FCS or MAC opponents."
In 2013, BYU has home games against Texas, Boise State, Georgia Tech and Utah, plus additional road games against Utah State, Houston, and Washington State.
BYU and Wisconsin have met only once, with the Cougars beating the Badgers, 28-3, in Madison in 1980.
In that game, BYU led just 7-0 at halftime, but the Cougars' defense held the Badgers to just 140 total yards and forced two fumbles in the second half to help fuel a 21-point offensive attack from Jim McMahon and the Cougars. McMahon was 12-of-15 for 175 yards and three touchdowns in the second half, finishing the day with 337 passing yards.