Blog: Nothing looks close with scheduling Notre Dame or Nebraska

2010-04-07T10:51:00Z Blog: Nothing looks close with scheduling Notre Dame or NebraskaBy Tom Mulhern madison.com
April 07, 2010 10:51 am  • 

 University of Wisconsin football fans who got their hopes up following a tweet by head coach Bret Bielema, suggesting he was trying to "lock up" a home-and-home series with Notre Dame or Nebraska, could be in for a wait.

 Bielema addressed the issue during a radio interview on Wednesday morning and nothing appears close to being finalized.

 He mentioned the possible games in a tweet on Tuesday, then said he didn't have time to talk to the media after practice, because of a scheduled interview on the radio show of athletic director Barry Alvarez.

 Bielema said in the tweet he was looking for a home game in 2012 and a road game in 2015. He was asked about it on the "Lucas and Lepay Show" on WTSO (1070 AM).

 "I kind of just threw it out there, because it's something we've been working on for a while," Bielema said of his initial tweet. "When I took over, I quickly saw we had home-and-homes with Arizona, Oregon State and Washington State, that took us all the way out to 2015.

 "When you're trying to schedule a premiere game, those things are scheduled so far out in advance, it just gets so difficult to get people to commit and lock in."

 Bielema mentioned previously announced home-and-homes with Washington for 2017 and 2018 and Virginia Tech for 2016 and 2017.

 "What I was trying to first fill was 2012," Bielema said. "The first time we can travel (have an opening) ... is 2015. So, we've got to find someone in that slot."

 However, Bielema said Nebraska already has a road game scheduled for 2012, which means the Cornhuskers would not be a candidate to play in Camp Randall Stadium for that opening.

 "That one might be later than sooner, because I believe in 2012 they already have a road game," Bielema said of a potential series.

 Bielema said there is a Web site for coaches and athletic department administrators trying to schedule games. While on that site, Bielema said he noticed openings in the Notre Dame and Nebraska schedules that might fit what UW needs.

 "Notre Dame and Nebraska were two teams that jumped out to me," he said. "I knew coach Alvarez had connections at both. So, he made some calls, I made some calls. We've had some discussions."

 Bielema talks regularly to former UW defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks, who left after last season to become the linebackers coach at Notre Dame. So, Bielema had Cooks pass along a message to new Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly about a potential meeting.

 "I said, `Hey, throw it out to Brian' and Brian expressed an interest back," Bielema said.

 As for Nebraska, Bielema has a prior relationship with somebody on the staff of coach Bo Pelini who works on the schedule and Bielema has been in contact with him.

 So, while talks are in the works, it doesn't sound like anything is close to being announced.

 Bielema admitted the process can be complex. "That's the dynamics that get overwhelming," he said of trying to line up big-name opponents so far in advance.

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