Does the name “Outback Bowl” sound familiar? It should — this season the Badgers will make their fifth trip to that game in the last 20 years.
We’ll forgive you if you wiped the previous games’ results from your memory faster than you could clear the last crumbs of Bloomin’ Onion from your plate. The UW is currently on a three-game losing streak.
Still, those previous Outback Bowls had their highlights. These are our favorites.
1995: Wisconsin 34, Duke 20
This game is famous for two lasts: the last time the Badgers won in Tampa (so far!), and the last time the game was called the Hall of Fame Bowl. Outback Steakhouse took over sponsorship in 1996. But in the ’95 game, Badger star Terrell Fletcher ran for 241 yards and ran away with game MVP honors.
1998: Georgia 33, Wisconsin 6
The Ron Dayne–led Badgers struggled to get anything going against the 12th-ranked Bulldogs, and fell behind 33–0 before scoring on a late touchdown pass. The rally was short-lived, however, as the UW couldn’t even convert its extra point.
2005: Georgia 24, Wisconsin 21
In Barry Alvarez’s penultimate season as head coach, the 17th-ranked Badgers fought the 7th-ranked Bulldogs through four gritty quarters. UW quarterback John Stocco was sacked seven times, and the team, which had begun the year 9–0, ended its season with three consecutive losses.
2008: Tennessee 21, Wisconsin 17
The Outback Bowl was where head coach Bret Bielema suffered his first bowl defeat — he’d won the Capital One Bowl the year previous. Tailback P.J. Hill ran 16 times for 132 yards, but the UW offense sputtered in the second half.
Bonus! 1984 Hall of Fame Classic: Kentucky 20, Wisconsin 19
Thirty years ago, on Dec. 29, 1984, the Badgers under head coach Dave McClain played in the Hall of Fame Classic in Birmingham, Alabama — it was the forerunner to the game now known as the Outback Bowl. This was the last Badger game for legendary receiver Al Toon ’95.