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Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Wisconsin could add Notre Dame to schedule

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

There has been no shortage of complaints on this blog and elsewhere about Wisconsin's approach to nonconference scheduling. The Badgers haven't taken too many scheduling risks during the Bret Bielema era, most notably backing out of a game against Virginia Tech last year to avoid having to play the Hokies, Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State in successive weeks. 

Wisconsin might be adding a big name to its future schedules as athletic director Barry Alvarez confirmed Tuesday that the school is talking with Notre Dame about scheduling a series sometime between 2012-15.

The potential Badgers-Irish series also has implications for another Big Ten program: Purdue.

Alvarez told WTSO radio in Madison that Notre Dame wants to play Purdue every other season rather than annually, which opens up another scheduling opportunity. Though Notre Dame doesn't carry the mystique it once did, this shift can't be good for Purdue, which was guaranteed major exposure and the chance to have in-state bragging rights every time it faced the Irish.

Though Wisconsin and Notre Dame haven't played since 1964, a series between the two schools certainly makes sense. They often recruit against each other, and Alvarez served as Notre Dame's defensive coordinator in 1988-89 before claiming the top job at Wisconsin. Notre Dame recruiting whiz Rob Ianello came to the Irish from Wisconsin. 

Whether Notre Dame regains its prestige on the field, the addition of the Irish should momentarily quiet the clamor surrounding Wisconsin's non-league scheduling approach.