Wisconsin Badgers vs. Stanford Cardinal
Tip-off: Tuesday, January 1, 2013 – 5:00 PM ET
Rose Bowl, PASADENA, CA
As YouWager bettors who follow college football know, Bret Bielema guided the Wisconsin Badgers to four 10-win seasons and three consecutive Rose Bowl appearances in his seven years in Madison, he wasn’t able to deliver a victory in the Granddaddy of Them All before his stunning decision to coach the Arkansas Razorbacks.
New head coach Barry Alvarez will make a temporary return to Wisconsin’s sideline today looking for his fourth Rose Bowl win in this 99th edition of college football’s oldest bowl, however the Badgers will have their hands full against an eighth-ranked Stanford Cardinal team appearing in its third straight BCS game.
The Badgers (8-5) blew out the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Dec. 1 in the Big Ten championship game to qualify for a third straight Rose Bowl trip, even when this one (most likely because the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Penn State Nittany Lions were ineligible for the postseason) wasn’t met with a lot of excitement as when it entered the last two ranked in the top 10.
Wisconsin’s spirits were even more low three days later with the stunning announcement that Bielema was headed to coach the Razorbacks. However it was Bielema himself who first hinted his former mentor may temporarily take the reins in Pasadena during his introductory press conference in Fayetteville.
The Cardinal has had no such turmoil surrounding its coach in 2012, with David Shaw agreeing to a “long-term contract extension” in December.
Wisconsin and the Oregon Ducks are the only other programs riding streaks of three straight BCS berths, while Northern Illinois and Oregon are the only teams besides the Cardinal to have won 11 games in each of the last three seasons.
While the Badgers only finished third in the Big Ten Leaders Division, bettors are feeling uneasy about this game. The Rose Bowl will be the final college matchup for Montee Ball, the all-time FBS leader in rushing touchdowns (76) and total TDs (82), and he’ll be running into the teeth of the nation’s No. 3 rush defense (87.7 yards per game).
Three of the Cardinal last four wins came by four points or fewer, and it had to rally in the fourth quarter to beat UCLA 27-24 in the Pac-12 championship game. Defensive lineman Terrence Stephens missed that football game and the regular-season finale, and he has been declared ineligible for the Rose Bowl due to a secondary violation of NCAA rules related to his rental of off-campus housing.
According to the college football live lines freshman Kevin Hogan has thrown for eight touchdowns and three interceptions since taking over under center for Josh Nunes, also running for 193 yards in five games.
The Cardinal hasn’t won the Rose Bowl since 1972, when it was known as the Indians. The Cardinal fell 17-9 to Wisconsin in 2000 in their only trip since.