Wisconsin to face LSU in ReliaQuest Bowl in Tampa

Wisconsin will begin 2024 in Tampa.

Luke Fickell’s team will face LSU (9-3) in the ReliaQuest Bowl on New Year’s Day (11 a.m. CT).

This will be the first time the Badgers have played in this bowl game since the end of the 2014 season when it was still called the Outback Bowl. That day, Melvin Gordon ran for 251 yards and three touchdowns in an overtime win over Auburn. Overall, this will be the sixth time Wisconsin has gone to Tampa for bowl season. In addition to 2014, the Badgers also played there following the 1994, 1997, 2004 and 2007 seasons.

Wisconsin and LSU have played four times before, though this will be the first meeting in the postseason. The Tigers hold a 3-1 advantage, but the Badgers did claim the last one, knocking LSU off at Lambeau Field to open the 2016 season.

A number of star players on both sides are not expected to play in the game. Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen has already declared for the NFL Draft, while LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels — the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy — and wide receiver Malik Nabers are unlikely to take part.

Many had projected the Badgers would end up in Nashville playing in the Music City Bowl. However, after Georgia’s loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, the Bulldogs fell out of the College Football Playoff but stayed ahead of Ohio State, landing the defending champs in the Orange Bowl. With no Big Ten team in that game, the conference reclaimed the ReliaQuest Bowl and that led to all the teams moving up one spot in the pecking order.

Wisconsin has won eight of its last nine bowl games, including a 24-17 win over Oklahoma State in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl last December.