June 25, 2024

The home schedule for Wisconsin football in 2024 is ranked, with Alabama and Oregon at the top.

Luke Fickell’s first season at Wisconsin ended with a 7-6 record and a loss to LSU in the ReliaQuest Bowl, meaning the Badgers fell well short of expectations. As Year 2 draws nearer, the on-field results have generated more cautious enthusiasm. Of course, the schedule is another factor contributing to the more cautious attitude around Fickell’s second season.

The Badgers have a formidable task with five road games, including USC and Iowa, and three possible top-15 opponents in Alabama, Penn State, and Oregon. Which games are the most anticipated by fans? Let’s take a game-by-game look at Wisconsin’s schedule for 2024, going from least to most appetizing.Badgers in Trouble? Ranking the Most Difficult Schedules in the Big Ten

12. Dakota
Time and date of the event: September 7, Camp Randall Stadium; 2023 record: 10-3, 7-1 (2nd, Missouri Valley)
Wisconsin has a 2-0 all-time record against South Dakota.
Last meeting: Wisconsin 59-10, September 24, 2011.
Coach (record): Bob Nielson (228-125-1 in 31 years overall; 42-45 in 8 years at South Dakota)

Since the divisions separated in 1978, Wisconsin is 13-0 versus FCS opponents. This includes a 13-year-old rout of South Dakota, which was led by three touchdown passes from Russell Wilson and five scores from the team’s rush. This South Dakota squad just finished a 10-win campaign and made it to the FCS playoff quarterfinals. In order to get back into shape before facing Alabama, Wisconsin could use a strong performance.

11. The University of Rutgers
Time TBD on October 12 at SHI Stadium; record: 7-6, 3-6 (5th, Big Ten East) in 2023
Rutgers against. Wisconsin all-time record: 5-0
Last meeting: Wisconsin 24-13, October 7, 2023.
Greg Schiano was the coach at Rutgers for 15 years, from 1987 to 1995.

Over the years, fan excitement for the Big Ten expansion has changed significantly. Better football matchups are guaranteed this year with the addition of four former Pac-12 clubs. Maryland and Rutgers coming in 2014? Not in that way. Thus, the Wisconsin-Rutgers game in Piscataway, New Jersey, is not expected to incite the Badger fan base. The previous season, Rutgers won the Pinstripe Bowl, but they also lost to Wisconsin in a game when Wisconsin cornerback Ricardo Hallman returned an interception 95 yards for a touchdown on behalf of the Badgers.

Date: August 31, 2023; time to be determined at Camp Randall Stadium; record: 4-8, 3-5 (T-4th, MAC West)
Wisconsin has an all-time record of 4-1 against Western Michigan.
Last meeting: in the Cotton Bowl on January 2, 2017, Wisconsin defeated
Lance Taylor, the coach (record: 4–8 in one year at Western Michigan)

Like Wisconsin’s season opener against Buffalo last year, this one will be interesting to watch to see how the Badgers perform in a competitive environment. How much better is the defense and offense combined? If Tyler Van Dyke is selected to start at quarterback, will he be able to turn things around for an offense that finished last season with an average of just 23.5 points per game? Seventeen starters from Western Michigan are back, including two offensive players who rank on the first team of the MAC and conference freshman of the year, running back Jalen Buckley.


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