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Predictions 101 — Rose Bowl

Stanford Cardinal head coach Shaw lifts a Pac-12 Championship trophy after defeating UCLA Bruins in Palo Alto

No. 8 Stanford vs. Wisconsin
Tues., Jan. 1 – 5 p.m. ET, ABC
Pasadena, Calif. – Rose Bowl

Stanford and Wisconsin players will feel like they’re looking at themselves during film review sessions and when they hit the field on New Year’s Day.

This has less to do with the fact that both teams share the same cardinal and white color scheme and more that they play the same way.

The Cardinal would feel right at home in the Big Ten, where the Badgers are part of the old guard, sticking to traditional ways while others get sucked into this business of speeding up and spreading out.

Yup, the 99th edition of the Granddaddy of Them All will be your father’s football game and we love it.

Both teams have their heavy duty hammers.

Playing in its third consecutive Rose Bowl — but without coach Bret Bielema (Woo pig sooie!) who will be replaced by AD/interim coach Barry Alvarez — Wisconsin (8-5) will swing away with senior tailback Montee Ball, who has carried the football 900 times in his career for 5,040 yards and 76 rushing touchdowns. Yowza.

Pac-12 champion Stanford (11-2) has a similar senior weapon in Stepfan Taylor, who has 823 career carries for 4,212 yards and 39 scores.

The other key part of the backfields present differing stories.

Badger quarterback Curt Phillips is mainly under center to take snaps and hand off. The senior threw just eight passes in Wisconsin’s 70-31 thrashing of Nebraska in the Big Ten title game. Phillips did complete six of those attempts, but who’s really counting those things when your team rushes for 539 yards?

Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan, who got inserted into the lineup in the middle of the season, is just a freshman, but plays like a grizzled vet. He has led Stanford to five consecutive wins, including a monumental 17-14 overtime victory at Oregon and back-to-back victories over UCLA with division and conference titles on the line. This upcoming occasion doesn’t figure to be too big for the youngster.

Wisconsin ranks 12th nationally in rushing offense and 111th in passing. This plays right into the hands of Stanford, which owns the country’s third best rushing defense, allowing just 87.7 yards per game on the ground.

Ball will get his yards and maybe a score or two, but it won’t be enough to overtake the Cardinal, especially if it’s a close game.

Seven of Stanford’s 11 victories have been by seven points or less and it won two of its three overtime games (the only loss was that questionable one in South Bend).

All five of Wisconsin’s losses were by a touchdown or less (four by three points) and the Badgers dropped a trio of overtime games down the stretch.

Opening point spread: Stanford by 6 1/2

The pick: Stanford 24-17

Click HERE to get predictions for the remaining bowl games.

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10 Responses to “Predictions 101 — Rose Bowl”
  1. normtide says: Dec 3, 2012 10:22 AM

    This is the “say what now?” Bowl. Nobody had these two penciled in to start the year. Personally, I love me some old man football. Line up, see who is tougher. I think UW wins this game, as long as Coach Barney Rubble does not decide to air it out. Of both teams do what they do best, the badgers win by 14. Very excited you watch this game. I will say, I love the Stanford party in the backfield motto tho.

  2. thraiderskin says: Dec 3, 2012 12:39 PM

    I agree Normtide. IF Wisconsin plays their game, they will grind it out, if they make this a QB game, they will get crushed. In previous Rose Bowls, Eltardo (Bielema)seemed to forget he had “real” grinders in the trenches and at one point three 1,000 yard rushers (one was actually in around 950 yards).

  3. xtremesportsmaniac says: Dec 3, 2012 2:55 PM

    This is a very good Stanford team. Their front seven is as good as anyone in the country and they are extremely well coached. They are not losing to an unranked Wisconsin team.

  4. xtremesportsmaniac says: Dec 3, 2012 2:59 PM

    Stanford is favored by 7 right now

  5. elwaysmilehighdenver says: Dec 3, 2012 4:26 PM

    I like my alma mater 34-17.

  6. metalhead65 says: Dec 3, 2012 5:05 PM

    as a big ten fan I hope Stanford not only wins but crushes the badgers. talk about a team not deserving to go the only reason they are there is the 2 teams better than them in their division are ineligible. please Stanford bury them and their obnoxious prick of a coach by as much as possible. I want to hear him and their fans cry about the score being run up on them for a change.

  7. packerbadger says: Dec 4, 2012 4:04 PM

    Should be “Headofmetal” instead of metalhead. Yes, Bielema is a arrogant prick and am glad to see him go, but Bucky and the best traveling fans in America will watch a good old fashioned game of football. Wisconsin 31 Stanford 24

  8. txnative61 says: Dec 7, 2012 2:08 AM

    Wisconsin better leave the arrogance they brought to Corvallis, Oregon in losing to Oregon State early. Yes dear, they have indeed heard of “smash mouth” football on the left coast.

  9. packerbadger says: Dec 14, 2012 9:51 AM

    0

    4

    metalhead65 says:Dec 3, 2012 5:05 PM

    as a big ten fan I hope Stanford not only wins but crushes the badgers. talk about a team not deserving to go the only reason they are there is the 2 teams better than them in their division are ineligible. please Stanford bury them and their obnoxious prick of a coach by as much as possible. I want to hear him and their fans cry about the score being run up on them for a change.
    ———————————————————
    You must be an Indiana “fan”. Still hurting after getting beat 83-17 by our ninth string players? What are they supposed to do…… quit playing? This is a game b/w two good teams that also have good academic programs…..athletes that actually go to school and take real classess in additon to football practice.

  10. packafan4life says: Jan 1, 2013 10:07 AM

    Ball is their 3rd best Running back on the Badgers. But! because BERT fed him the ball to get an Arkansas job we get to read stuff like this.. Gordon is a future first round pick in NFL draft. If the Badgers win it will be because Barry gave Gordon the carries over Ball.

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