TAMPA - Wisconsin has accepted an invitation to play in the Outback Bowl, officials announced today.
The Badgers (9-3), of the Big Ten Conference, will play an Southeastern Conference team to be announced on Sunday.
''We are thrilled to have the Badgers as our Big Ten representative in the 2008 Outback Bowl,'' Outback Bowl CEO Jim McVay said. ''Wisconsin is a terrific team with outstanding players, coaches and some of the most enthusiastic fans in the sport. We feel they will be an excellent team to face off against a highly ranked SEC opponent.''
Wisconsin, ranked No. 18 in the BCS standings, likely will face Tennessee (9-3), which faces LSU (10-2) in Saturday's SEC Championship Game. The bowl, with third choice in the SEC, generally favors an Eastern Division team such as Tennessee.
''Our entire team is excited to be returning to Florida for our fourth straight January bowl game,'' Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said. ''We've always heard terrific feedback from our fans who have followed us to Tampa in the past and I know we'll have a big sea of red down there again. We're looking forward to the warm weather, hospitality and a great game on New Year's Day.''
''We're absolutely thrilled to be returning to Tampa for the Outback Bowl," UW Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez said. ''It has been a tremendous destination for us the previous three times we have been there. Our players and fans have always enjoyed the Tampa area and everything the bowl brings to the table.''
The game kicks off at Raymond James Stadium on New Year's Day at 11 a.m. Tickets are on sale for $65 each.