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

Predictions 101 — Rose Bowl


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.

Bowling Green HC Dino Babers helps save woman from burning car

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - SEPTEMBER 26: Head coach Dino Babers of the Bowling Green Falcons watches the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium on September 26, 2015 in West Lafayette, Indiana.  (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
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How about we start off the morning with something positive for a change?

As the Bowling Green caravan was driving back from Saturday’s game against Buffalo, a woman in front of the school’s four bus swerved and her vehicle hit the center divider on the Interstate in Northeast Ohio.  Shortly thereafter, the vehicle burst into flames.

That’s when Dino Babers, BGSU’s head coach, and trainer Chelsea Lowe jumped into action.  From the Toledo Blade:

The bus driver asked for permission to stop the bus, and I gave it to him — but I told him not to stop the other three buses,” Babers said. “Then he asked to go check out the car and see if the driver was hurt.

“I told him no, because if he was hurt there wouldn’t be anyone to drive the bus home.”

So that first BG bus, which was unaffected by the crash, stopped a short distance away, and Babers and Lowe went to the car.

“The closer we got to the car, the clearer we could see smoke billowing,” Lowe said. “We knew whoever was in the car wasn’t just going to walk away and have everything be OK.

Baber and Lowe were able to pull the 25-year-old woman away from the vehicle, and stayed with her until police and fire personnel arrived on the scene. The coach was even able to go back to the burning vehicle and retrieve the woman’s purse and keys.

As for Babers motivation in acting the way he did, read the Blade‘s account of the incident. It’ll be well worth your time.

UGA reaffirms commitment to Greyson Lambert as starting QB

ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 03:  Greyson Lambert #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs is tackled by Minkah Fitzpatrick #29, Reggie Ragland #19 and Geno Matias-Smith #24 of the Alabama Crimson Tide at Sanford Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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For those looking for a change under center Between the Hedges, think again.

In Georgia’s first loss Saturday, Alabama harassed and harangued Greyson Lambert into a miserable day.  The Virginia graduate transfer completed just 10-of-24 passes for 86 yards and an interception in the rain-soaked 38-10 home beatdown.

While some wondered whether UGA would pull the trigger and promote backup Brice Ramsey for the Week 6 game against Tennessee, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer indicated that no change at the position is on the horizon — and that Ramsey would still get his opportunities.

“It’s no secret we plan on playing Brice in every game,” Schottenheimer said. “Greyson doesn’t need to look over his shoulder because Brice is going to play. …

“We believe in competition. Greyson doesn’t need to go look over his shoulder in terms of who is starting the game. He needs to worry about moving the team. He knows Brice is going to come in at some point. Nothing has changed. The rotation is what it is.”

If you were just going off the most recent tape, Ramsey’s play actually made it an easy decision for the staff to stick with status quo. Inserted in an attempt to breathe some life into a limp offense, Ramsey completed 3-of-6 passes, although two of those completions went to Tide defenders.