The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Wisconsin Badgers are opening the 2015 college football season against each other, making it the most important non-conference game in the opening weekend. The television networks feel the same, as the game on September 5 in Arlington, Texas at AT&T Stadium will hold the primetime slot, airing on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Tickets to the Cowboys Classic on the secondary market have been trending down in the past two weeks or so. On June 1, the average ticket price was $382.09. This week (as of 6/15), the average ticket price is $288.34, with a get-in price of $102, according to TiqIQ.com.
For Crimson Tide fans that can't get through the door on September 5 or support the team away from their campus in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, DISH Network Sports packages that feature the SEC Network. With the channel available on packages starting from $13 a month, not a moment of the SEC season has to be missed.
One similarity between the two schools is that they were both pit stops en route to Ohio State's College Football National Championship. Wisconsin was the first roadblock, getting absolutely stomped in the Big Ten Championship game, 59-0. Next, in the first-ever College Football Playoff semifinal, the No. 4 Buckeyes upset the No. 1 Crimson Tide, before defeating Oregon in the National Championship game.
Wisconsin's athletic director Barry Alvarez said the Badgers are making an emphasis on crafting a more difficult non-conference schedule to help their chances in the College Football Playoff voting system if they're in that position. In fact, this is Wisconsin's first game against an SEC team in the regular season since 1972.
Alabama is looking to reload after losing many talented athletes to the NFL. Amari Cooper, Landon Collins, T.J. Yeldon, Jalston Fowler, Arie Kouandijo and Austin Shepherd were all selected in the first six rounds of this year's draft, not to mention the fact that Alabama also has to replace quarterback Blake Sims.
The spring and summer sessions will be important for the Crimson Tide, who are looking to find a cohesion between their new skill players and team leader. Wisconsin will be without running back Melvin Gordon, who won the Doak Walker Award that went to the best running back in the nation. The Badgers will also be led by first-year head coach Paul Chryst, who comes over from Pittsburgh.
This is the second-ever meeting between the two programs, with their previous meeting coming way back in 1928.