Alabama continues its recent habit of scheduling neutral-site games with marquee names from other conferences for its season openers, as Wisconsin has announced that it will play the Crimson Tide in Cowboys Stadium to kick off the 2015 season.
Alabama didn't always look to big names to start its years: in 2011, it played Kent State Week 1 before going on to win a national championship. But last year, it opened at Cowboys Stadium against Michigan, beating the Wolverines handily, 41-14. And the next two years, Bama's scheduled to play in the Georgia Dome as part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, playing Virginia Tech in 2013 and West Virginia in 2014. Now they'll add Wisconsin, which has won three straight Big Ten Championships, although they've lost all three Rose Bowl games.
There's almost no history between these teams: their sole meeting occurred in 1928, with Wisconsin winning 15-0. Wisconsin hasn't played an SEC team since a series of five straight bowl games against SEC schools that ended in 2007, and Nick Saban hasn't coached against the Badgers since he left Michigan State for LSU in 2000. Gary Andersen would have coached against Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl, but he left Utah for Utah State after the end of the Utes' regular season.
Anyway, it sure is nice to know how the Tide will start their fifth straight national title defense, Paul.