Wisconsin will get a third crack at snapping the Big Ten’s losing streak in the Rose Bowl. A conference team hasn’t brought home the roses since the Badgers last did it in the 2000 game when they downed Stanford.
The Grandaddy of them all will mark the end of a brief, albeit sizeable, flurry of bowl games featuring BIG squads. The game will appear on ESPN at 5 p.m. E.T.
Will Nahikian (Featured columnist)
Thoughts: Wisconsin is in their third straight Rose Bowl, though this year wasn’t a great year for them they made it to the Grandaddy of them all. Some may say they do not deserve to be here, but some teams shouldn’t cheat (cough Ohio State cough). I think Wisconsin comes out with a chip on their shoulder and will compete in this one despite losing their head coach. Stanford has been great this year other than a strange loss to Washington, and being robbed against Notre Dame. This Stanford team won 5 straight against ranked opponents in November and are coming into this one HOT. Montee Ball will have a good game but you cannot expect to beat a team as good as Stanford being one-dimensional. With Curt Phillips at quarterback this is exactly what Wisconsin has been: one-dimensional. Because of that I see Wisconsin losing a close one.
Predicition: Stanford 24, Wisconsin 20
…more after jump…
Nate Woelfel (Co-managing editor)
Thoughts: The Cardinal are a quality team on both sides of the football and certainly deserve their status as favorites. Wisconsin needed to bust out all of the stops to decisively down Nebraska in the Big Ten Championship Game. To some extent, they will need that type of offensive creativity again to take down Stanford. Some new options were opened up recently when redshirt freshman quarterback Joel Stave was cleared to play.
But, as always, offensive production will likely be irrelevant without a strong defensive performance to complement it. Whichever team can pair those two elements together will win this game.
Prediction: Wisconsin 24, Stanford 21