Bret Bielema thinks that when it comes to scheduling a quality non-conference opponent, Wisconsin is too pretty for its own good.
Bret Bielema believes one of the factors preventing the University of Wisconsin from playing a marquee nonconference opponent during the regular season is the Badgers’ home record. Bielema reminded reporters Monday during the first day of the Big Ten Conference preseason football meetings that UW is a combined 30-3 at home over the last five seasons.
“That really becomes evident when we try to schedule nonconference opponents and we try to go after a certain caliber of opponents,” Bielema, 28-11 in three seasons as UW’s head coach, said of the Badgers’ home record since 2004. “In the beginning they start to get intrigued and they are interested in coming.
“But when we start to talk about home-and-home . . . all of a sudden it’s not as good a deal as they thought.”
So exactly which schools outside the Big Ten has Wisconsin built that intimidating record against? Here’s a list of the non-conference opponents UW has hosted in the past five seasons: Central Florida, UNLV, Bowling Green, Temple, Bowling Green, Western Illinois, San Diego State, Buffalo, Washington State, The Citadel, Northern Illinois, Akron, Marshall and Cal Poly. The record against that murderers’ row (only one BCS-conference school)? 14-0.
I am curious which schools Bielema is referring to as being scared off. All I know is that were I the head coach or athletic director at a competent BCS-conference school, Wisky’s last home effort against a non-conference opponent wouldn’t exactly have me running for the hills.
By the way, it’s not totally on point, but Steele ranks Wisconsin’s home winning percentage for the decade as only 33rd best in the nation over that time.