Badgers add Maryland to future schedule

More scheduling news today, though unlike the earlier item, this on involves two teams who will actually play. Probably.

Wisconsin announced that it will play a home-and-home series with Maryland in 2020 and 2021. The two teams, who have never before met, will open the series at Camp Randall Stadium in 2020, with the Badgers traveling to College Park, Md., the following season.

As far as we know, this is not part of the deal for Danny O'Brien leaving the Terrapins for Wisconsin. No, it's another move by Wisconsin to improve its nonconference schedules, which have been (rightly) criticized for being too soft in recent years.

The Badgers now face at least one BCS conference opponent in each of the next nine seasons. The future schedules include home-and-home series with Washington State (2014 and 2015), Virginia Tech (2016 and 2017) and Washington (2018 and 2019). Wisconsin will also play BYU in 2013, 2017 and 2018.

Maryland is not a flashy opponent and has struggled under second-year coach Randy Edsall. But at least it's a school from a (cough) power conference, and who knows what type of team the Terps will have in eight years? Big Ten teams are being encouraged to beef up their schedules in advance of the new playoff system, although Minnesota apparently isn't interested in joining that train. Any team that wants to be involved in making the four-team playoff had better play a respectable schedule, and Wisconsin definitely fits that bill.

“The world of college football changes dramatically in 2014 with the implementation of the playoff system,” Badgers coach Bret Bielema said in a statement. “This is another step towards strengthening our nonconference schedule and helping us recruit nationally.”