- The teams couldn't arrange a return game in Madison until 2013.
- Neither team was willing to give up a home game in 2009.
Thus is the state of college football in 2009. The nonconference schedules of Bowl Championship Series teams have become so god-awful that ESPN has to play matchmaker in an attempt to get decent programming.
This also brings into question — once again — the increasing influence ESPN has over college football. One can't fault the cable network for trying to bring viewers the best matchups, but it illustrates the sway it can have over teams. And now ESPN has added the BCS package to its portfolio, giving it a virtual stranglehold on the sport.
ESPN's money talks, but apparently there wasn't enough of it to get Mack Brown and Bret Bielema together for one Saturday this fall.
As it stands, Texas plays Louisiana Monroe, Central Florida and Texas El Paso at home and at Wyoming in nonconference play. Not exactly murderer's row and the Longhorns know it. With Colt McCoy returning, a title run could be in the works. A victory over a BCS opponent could be a difference-maker in the BCS standings.
Wisconsin plays Northern Illinois, Fresno State and something called Wofford at home and at Hawaii in nonconference play. Bielema's Badgers appear to be sliding fast — barely resembling the bruising, physical teams of Barry Alvarez — and one could see why Wisconsin wanted no part of Texas. But spin it the way you want because this game is not going to happen.
Thanks to Image of Sport.