The University of Wisconsin Badgers have been selected to represent the Big Ten in the 2007 Capital One Bowl in Orlando, bowl officials announced Monday. The game will kickoff at 1:00 p.m. EST on Monday, Jan. 1 and will be televised nationally by ABC.
“We are thrilled to have Wisconsin return to the Capital One Bowl,” Selection Committee Chairman George Nahas said. “The Badgers took a win in our game last season and just kept rolling, finishing with an outstanding 2006 campaign. It speaks to the success of their program that they have been able to maintain such outstanding play two years running. It also says volumes about Coach Bielema and (Athletics Director Barry) Alvarez that they haven’t missed a beat.”
Wisconsin will represent the Big Ten after finishing the regular season with an overall mark of 11-1. The Badgers are currently eighth in the BCS standings and ran off eight consecutive wins to close out their 2006 season while outscoring their opponents by an average margin of nearly 22 points in the stretch (33.4-11.5). Head Coach Bret Bielema and his team are ranked No. 10 in the latest Associated Press poll and 9th in the most recent USA Today Coaches polls.
“At 11-1 in a conference like the Big Ten and ranked in the top 10 of the BCS, Wisconsin will definitely be a exciting team to host in our Capital One Bowl,” said Florida Citrus Sports Executive Director Steve Hogan said. “When you think of a potential matchup between the Badgers and a top-ranked Southeastern Conference opponent, this will make for one of the most anticipated matchups in all of postseason college football. It shouldn’t take us long to sell out a game of this magnitude.”
This season marks the second-ever appearance by the Badgers in the Capital One Bowl and the second in as many years. Last season, Wisconsin came to Orlando underdogs and left with an impressive 24-10 win over then-No. 7 Auburn in Barry Alvarez’s final game as a head coach.
Wisconsin’s opponent, a representative from the Southeastern Conference, will be determined after that league’s championship game on December 2. SEC teams remaining on the selection committee’s watch list include Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, LSU and Tennessee.