Alabama, Wisconsin to play in 2015

Alabama and Wisconsin will open the 2015 season against each other at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the schools announced Wednesday.

The Crimson Tide, the two-time defending BCS champions, and the Badgers, who have won the Big Ten the past three seasons, will meet Sept. 5, 2015. It will be just the second meeting between the two schools, with the first one coming in 1928.

"As a league, we decided that we needed to upgrade our nonconference schedule," Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said in an official release. "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. It will be a great experience for our program, our players and our fans."

Wisconsin has been criticized in recent years for not playing a tough nonconference schedule. The Badgers have not faced an SEC team since playing five consecutive bowl games against the conference from 2003 to 2007, going 2-3 in those matchups. Wisconsin has not played an SEC team in the regular season since losing to LSU in 1972.

Alabama beat Michigan 41-14 in the 2012 season opener for both teams at Cowboys Stadium.