MADISON (WXOW)-- With the 2012 football season a little more than three months away, the Big Ten Conference released the recently approved conference schedules for 2015 and 2016, meaning Badger fans can mark their calendars for the next five falls. Perhaps the most noteworthy item from the new schedules is the return of Michigan to UW's regular-season slate following a four-year hiatus.
The Badgers and Wolverines will meet for the 65th time on Oct. 10, 2015 in Ann Arbor. The following year, on Oct. 29, Michigan returns to Camp Randall Stadium for the first time since 2009. Wisconsin, in the Big Ten Leaders Division, and Michigan, a member of the Legends Division, could face each other prior to 2015 if both advance to the Big Ten Football Championship Game. UW has won the last two meetings between the teams and four of the last six.
The other two cross-division games for Wisconsin in 2015 and 2016 are Nebraska and Minnesota. After playing the Cornhuskers in both 2011 and 2012, the two teams will not meet again in the regular season until Oct. 24, 2015. That will mark the Huskers' first trip back to Camp Randall Stadium since the Badgers welcomed them to the Big Ten with a 48-17 thumping last year.
Minnesota is Wisconsin's protected rival in the Legends Division. The annual Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe will take place on Nov. 21, 2015 in Minneapolis and Nov. 19, 2016 in Madison.
The season-ending tradition of a game against Leaders Division foe Penn State continues in 2015 and 2016. Last year the Badgers and Nittany Lions squared off at Camp Randall with the Leaders Division title on the line. The two teams will battle in the regular-season finale this year on Nov. 24 in State College and rotate sites to end the regular season for at least the next five years.
Wisconsin and its remaining Leaders Division mates (Indiana, Illinois, Ohio State and Purdue) will remain in a home-and-home rotation. The Badgers will kick off the conference schedule in both 2015 and 2016 against Indiana.
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