Update, 1/20/09: the new rumor is the deal isn't dead . . . yet.
With ESPN's help, Texas and Wisconsin were trying to work out a home-and-home with the Badgers playing at Austin this coming fall. Unfortunately, the return date in Madison couldn't happen before 2013, and they scrapped the deal.
Too bad. I suspect the fan base would have loved it, even with a four year wait for the return.
Moreover, it's too bad we couldn't reshuffle a game or two to make it work. It's hard to get marquis teams like Texas to come to Madison. I'm disappointed the athletic department couldn't make this one happen.
Here's the link:
A little clarification on my perspective is in order. These things aren't easy. They are negotiations. You don't just pick up the phone and say, "hey, let's play a game." There's a reason the Badger athletic department didn't make the deal and it likely has to do with the terms, i.e. Texas's position in the negotiations. Nonetheless, it's a shame it didn't happen.
The Capital Times reports a slightly different reason that the deal hasn't worked (yet): each team wants to preserve their 7 home games. This makes a lot of sense. What joe-fan may not realize is selling football tickets is the lifeblood of athletic departments. Giving up that seventh game means a lot of lost revenue for the department. That's not going to happen. Unless they can find a way that both teams play 7 home games, the deal can't happen.