Have the Badgers ever gone a season without football … like ever?
On Tuesday, to the heartbreak of players and fans across the country, the Big Ten Conference and the PAC-12 announced that they will not be proceeding with a fall football season. Just a few days before, the Big Ten had announced a conference-only lineup of games, which would have brought Indiana, Minnesota, Purdue, and Illinois to Camp Randall. Alas, like much of the news in 2020, it all changed in an instant, and now the Badgers — and Camp Randall — won’t see any football games for an entire season. Some readers astutely asked if this has ever happened before, during the 1918 pandemic or World War II, for instance. The answer is a surprising no. The Badgers’ all-time results archive shows records for every year since 1889 — the team’s first official year. In the 1918 season, when campus was racked by the influenza pandemic, the Badgers played six games, winning three. In the first year of World War II, the Badgers played … but not well. They went 1–6–1 that year, which kicked off a relatively dismal stretch. Between 1939 and 1949, the Badgers had only three winning seasons. And so, in a year of “unprecedenteds,” Camp Randall Stadium will be actionless for the first time in its history. (But you can still catch us in our red and white singing “Sweet Caroline” each fall Saturday.)