The LSU Tigers are set to clash against the Wisconsin Badgers in a primetime interconference showdown in Houston, Texas. Both the Tigers and Badgers have proven to be excellent in nonconference meetings over the past few years.
Wisconsin is 34-2 against teams outside the Big Ten Conference, with their only losses coming in controversial fashion last year against the Arizona State Sun Devils, and in 2012 against the Oregon State Beavers.
LSU, meanwhile, has dominated over opponents away from the Southeastern Conference. They are 45-0 since 2002, and the Bayou Bengals have never lost a nonconference game with Les Miles at the helm (35-0).
Wisconsin is coming off of a successful campaign in Gary Andersen's first year as head coach. Bucky's Badgers went 9-4 and 6-2 in Big Ten play, with losses to the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Penn State Nittany Lions. Wisconsin has been bookended by the SEC with this matchup, as their last game played was against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Capital One Bowl, a game that the Badgers fell short in, 31-24. While the quarterback situation seems to be in flux, all eyes will be on the dastardly, dynamic and dangerous running back Melvin Gordon III, who could be a legitimate candidate for the Heisman Trophy.
For LSU, the story remains the same as it has been for the past few years, as they will be starting anew. Several members of the team that went 10-3 (5-3 vs. the SEC) a year ago have since departed for the NFL, including receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr and quarterback Zach Mettenberger. NOLA.com reported on Friday afternoon that sophomore quarterback Anthony Jennings has gotten the nod to take over the starting quarterback job. Jennings is familiar with the feels of the gridiron as he played in nine games last year, including the Tigers' matchup with rival Arkansas when he led the Bayou Bengals on a dramatic comeback drive.
This is sure to be an excellent contest between two teams that could make a statement to America that, despite the crowded fields in their respective conferences, they are in the hunt for a spot in the first annual College Football Playoff.
Game Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
Live Stream: WatchESPN