Two teams that have been fixtures in the BCS these last few years and have seemingly circled around each other will finally get a chance to square off in the Rose Bowl one New Year's Day, as the Pac-12 champion Stanford Cardinal take on the Big Ten champion Wisconsin Badgers in Pasadena.
Stanford can easily claim to have been among the nation's hottest teams when the 2012 season wound down, as the Cardinal beat four ranked teams to end the season, including two victories over the UCLA Bruins in less than a week to claim the Pac-12's championship. The Cardinal were also responsible for derailing the Oregon Ducks' national title hopes after they upset the Ducks in overtime.
Wisconsin had a shaky start to its 2012 season, aiming to return to the Rose Bowl for a third straight season, but a dominating performance in the Big Ten Championship Game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers clinched the Badgers' return trip to Pasadena. The Badgers were able to make the championship game because both the Ohio State Buckeyes and Penn State Nittany Lions were ineligible to represent their division in the title game, but a third consecutive trip to the Rose Bowl is impressive nonetheless.
The Badgers are led into the game by senior running back Montee Ball, who holds the all-time FBS record for overall touchdowns and rushing touchdowns. The Cardinal will counter on offense with running back Stepfan Taylor, who rushed for 1,442 yards and 12 touchdowns. Stanford quarterback Josh Nunes passed for 10 touchdowns in 2012.
Game date and time
Jan. 1, 5 p.m. ET
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.
Stanford is favored by six points over the Badgers
Last year’s game
Oregon Ducks 45 vs. Wisconsin Badgers 38
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