The 2015 Cowboys Classic is Alabama vs. Wisconsin, the universities announced on Wednesday. The two programs are slated to tangle on Sept. 5, 2015 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
In a statement, Wisconsin athletic directory Barry Alvarez said:
“As a league we decided that we needed to upgrade our non-conference schedule. We understand that strength of schedule will be a factor in determining which teams earn the right to participate in the new four-team playoff system and we want to be in that mix. There’s no better way to do that than by playing the defending national champions. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to play a storied program like Alabama in a terrific venue like Cowboys Stadium.”
The Cowboys Classic has become the preeminent opening weekend game in the college football season. The Week 1 marquee showcase has also become a further extension of Southeastern Conference dominance. The LSU Tigers topped reigning national runners-up, the Oregon Ducks, 40-27 in 2011. Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide blasted the Michigan Wolverines in last season’s installment, 41-41.
LSU returns to the kickoff classic next season to face the Big 12’s TCU Horned Frogs. The Florida State Seminoles and Oklahoma State Cowboys clash in 2014.
Alvarez was a driving force behind the Big Ten Conference’s recent decision to discontinue FCS match-ups.
“The nonconference schedule in our league is ridiculous,” Alvarez said last month.
The longtime Badgers head coach is walking his talk, scheduling college football’s dynasty program. Alabama has been especially successful against the Big Ten in recent seasons, winning its last four contests — the 2012 Cowboys Classic vs. Michigan; a home-and-home series vs. the Penn State Nittany Lions and the 2011 Capital One Bowl vs. the Michigan State Spartans — by a combined 106 points.