With all the uproar surrounding Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick and his comments regarding conference affiliation, it was a Big Ten coach that raised an eyebrow or two with an interesting tweet.
Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, via his Twitter page earlier today, mentioned that the Badgers are “trying to lock up a home and home contest with Notre Dame or Nebraska for the future.”
That news would seem to jive with the reports that linked the Badgers and the Irish together last season, when Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez mentioned that the two schools were negotiating a series.
Bielema mentioned that the game would be in Madison in 2012 and a trip to either South Bend or Lincoln in 2015. Taking a look at the tentative 2012 schedule, this seems to work with the Irish schedule. If we assume Notre Dame is still trying to fulfill the 7-4-1 model, the Irish have their neutral site game locked down with the season opener in Dublin against Navy. The three away games on the schedule right now are at Michigan State, a high-profile matchup against Oklahoma in Norman, and the biannual trip to Los Angeles to play USC the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
(With Wake Forest already on the books in 2012, adding Wisconsin would make this a pretty legit schedule.)
Alvarez’s connections to the Irish are well known, but his ties to the Nebraska football program are even more prominent. Alvarez was a linebacker in the 1960s for the Cornhuskers and played under head coach Bob Devaney.