Rose Bowl 2013: Stanford vs. Wisconsin will be close

US PRESSWIRE

On paper, it looks like Stanford should win the Rose Bowl with relative ease. That likely won't be the case, though.

The Stanford Cardinal enter the Rose Bowl as pretty heavy favorites over Wisconsin. The Cardinal feature one of the nation's best defenses in a conference loaded with offensive playmakers, and freshman quarterback Kevin Hogan has brought life to coach David Shaw's offense.

Most figured Nebraska would beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game, but that was hardly the case. Instead, the Badgers put up 70 points and absolutely dominated the Cornhuskers. With the Rose Bowl just a couple of weeks away, do not be surprised to see a game closer than what most are expecting. Here is SB Nation's Bill Connelly with the latest:

In this sense, then, it shouldn't be a surprise to see that Wisconsin actually ranks a healthy 15th in the current F/+ rankings. The offense has rebounded somewhat, to 27th in Off. F/+, but quarterback play has still limited the Badgers. Before the stunning 70-point explosion in the Big Ten title game (a game they only qualified for because both teams ahead of them in the division standings, Ohio State and Penn State, were ineligible for the postseason), the Badgers had scored more than 21 points just once in the previous four games. But the defense has been stellar, ranking eighth in Def. F/+.

Connelly also notes that the Badgers will look to run the ball as much as possible, especially given their inconsistencies at quarterback this season. He also says there is no denying that Stanford is the better team overall, but that anything can happen in bowl season, and that we should be in for a competitive game.

Stanford and Wisconsin are scheduled to kick off from the Rose Bowl on Monday, Jan. 1, 2013.

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