Chryst-Western Kentucky moved to Friday

Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst listens to an official during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Utah State on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

The University of Wisconsin's first game of the 2018 season will be played on a Friday, the Big Ten announced Friday.

The Badgers' game against Western Kentucky will kick off on Aug. 31, 2018, at Camp Randall Stadium, rather than the original scheduled date of Sept. 1.

It will mark the second straight year that UW opens the season at home on a Friday. The Badgers' game against Utah State this year was played on Friday, Sept. 1.

The Big Ten's decision to add Friday night games beginning this season was widely unpopular among the conference's schools and state high school associations. Some programs refused to play on Fridays, but UW agreed to do so the weekend of Labor Day.

"As a former high school and college coach, I have great respect for the tradition and importance of Friday night high school football in the state of Wisconsin and throughout the Midwest," UW athletic director Barry Alvarez said in a statement last November. "As a conference, we felt it was the right time to explore additional opportunities for exposure on Friday nights on a limited basis.

"At Wisconsin, we are open to hosting games at Camp Randall on the Friday night prior to Labor Day weekend in selected years but have not committed to hosting Friday night games at any other time."

The Big Ten announced Friday that three other games, along with UW-Western Kentucky, would be moved to Friday in 2018: Utah State at Michigan State on Aug. 31, Penn State at Illinois on Sept. 21 and Indiana at Minnesota on Oct. 26.

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