Wisconsin Badgers Big Ten Opener History


The Wisconsin Badgers open the 2015 Big Ten Conference schedule this week when the Iowa Hawkeyes come to town for the Big Ten opener. If history repeats itself, the Badgers are due for a win.

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A look back over the past two decades shows some interesting trends for the Wisconsin Badgers in their Big Ten openers. You have to go back 10 years to find the most recent time the Badgers won or lost multiple Big Ten openers in a row. For the past decade, the Badgers have alternated wins and losses each year in their conference opener.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

Since 1995, the Badgers have won or lost multiple Big Ten openers in a row only three times: Wisconsin had back-to-back wins in 1997 against Indiana and in 1998 against Northwestern. Wisconsin then lost straight games in 1999 to #4 Michigan and in 2000 to Northwestern, and put together a three-game win streak beginning in 2003 with a win over Illinois, adding a 2004 win over Penn State and a 2005 victory against #14 Michigan.

The Badgers are 11-9 in Big Ten openers in the past two decades, and have earned most of their victories at home, as you’d expect. Wisconsin is 8-4 in Big Ten openers at Camp Randall stadium; the last home Big Ten opener loss was a 16-3 game in 2002 to #20 Penn State.

The Badgers are 3-5 on the road in Big Ten openers, including a 20-14 loss last year at Northwestern. The Badgers have lost their last five road Big Ten openers after winning on the road in 1995, 2001 and 2003 in the first Big Ten games of those seasons.

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  • Since 1995, the Badgers have struggled against ranked opponents in Big Ten openers as well, winning just three of nine tries. Their last Big Ten opener win against a ranked team came in 2011 against Nebraska when Russell Wilson and Montee Ball helped welcome the Cornhuskers to the conference with a 48-17 win.

    The Badgers also defeated #14 Michigan at home in 2005 and #6 Penn State on the road in 1995.

    If history serves true, the Badgers are set to win this Saturday for a few reasons, namely, they are playing at home against an unranked opponent and in order to continue the flip-flop of wins and losses in Big Ten openers, 2015 represents a winning year.

    The Badgers aren’t likely to leave it up to fate, and will come prepared for Iowa in the Big Ten opener this weekend.

    Next: Time Set For Badgers-Hawkeyes

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