LSU in discussions to play Wisconsin in football

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - LSU is having discussions to play Wisconsin in football, but whether or not the Tigers and Badgers square off will be influenced by whether the Southeastern Conference goes to a nine-game conference schedule, Athletic Director Joe Alleva said Saturday.

The games between LSU and Wisconsin would be at neutral sites.

Possible venues include Reliant Stadium in Houston; Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas; and historic Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Green Bay Packers. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported Friday that Wisconsin would like to play LSU at Lambeau.

Alleva said he isn't interested in playing a game at Lambeau, mentioning instead the two Texas sites.

LSU will open the 2013 season Aug. 31 at Cowboys Stadium against TCU. The Tigers have yet to play a neutral site game in Houston, the center of the fertile southeast Texas recruiting region and the largest LSU alumni base outside Louisiana.

LSU senior associate athletic director Verge Ausberry, who handles football scheduling, has long expressed an interest in playing a neutral site game in Houston.

However, if the SEC goes from its current eight game schedule to nine games, leaving LSU with only three nonconference slots available in its 12-game season, Alleva said the prospect of playing Wisconsin will likely evaporate.

A nine-game conference schedule is one of the major topics expected to grab the spotlight during the SEC Spring Meeting, which will be May 28-31 in Destin, Fla. Alleva said he isn't a proponent of a nine-game SEC schedule, but would support it if it meant the end of permanent cross-divisional opponents.

Alleva and LSU have fought for the past couple of years to get the SEC to do away with permanent opponents in the name of fairer scheduling. It is expected that next month's Spring Meeting will be the last chance to do so before the SEC locks into a new long-term scheduling format.

"I can be for nine games without permanent partners," Alleva said. Meanwhile, LSU has announced a third nonconference game for 2014 against the New Mexico State Aggies.

LSU will open the 2014 season Sept. 6 against Louisiana-Monroe, followed by games Sept. 13 against Georgia Southern and Sept. 27 against New Mexico State. All three games will be in Tiger Stadium. No other games are currently on LSU's 2014 schedule as the school awaits its SEC schedule.

LSU and Wisconsin have met only twice in football, playing a home-and-home series in 1971-72. The Tigers won 38-28 at Madison, Wis., in 1971, then beat the Badgers 27-7 in Tiger Stadium the following year.