Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez is leaning toward a nine-game football schedule and also thinks the conference will go with an East-West division alignment.
“I did prefer 10 until I sat down and put a pencil to it,” Alvarez said. “I don’t know if we’d ever get seven home games (with 10), so I guess I’m leaning toward nine.”
“If you go to 10, you can forget about seven home games. You better make up the difference in the TV revenue, so that’s why I like nine.”
According to to the article, Wisconsin makes about $3.5 million for every home game. That’s a lot of money to give up to play an extra conference game.
Under the nine-game schedule preferred by Alvarez, half the Big Ten schools would play five home and four away games while the other half would play four home and five away. The Big 12 and Pac-12 currently employ this model.
Although a ten-game conference schedule would be balanced and provide additional conference match-ups, this model would make it difficult for schools to play seven home games each season which is necessary for added revenue.
Five conference games would leave only two non-conference games per season. And with the Big Ten said to be abandoning FCS schools, it would be extremely difficult to schedule two more home games every year.
Regarding the new division alignment of the conference when Maryland and Rutgers join, Alvarez said he thinks “…it’s going to be an East and a West” alignment.
Under that setup, the East would likely include Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers with the West consisting of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, and Wisconsin.
Alvarez also acknowledged a rumor that Wisconsin will play Alabama at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington in 2015.
Alvarez declined to go into detail on reports the Badgers will play Alabama in Arlington, Texas, in 2015, though he did acknowledge a contract has been completed but is unsigned.
“I don’t know who’s holding it up,” he said.