Rose Bowl Pick- Wisconsin vs. Stanford
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Date/Time: January 1st, 5:30 pm EST
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Point Spread: Stanford -6.5
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Rose Bowl Pick – January 1st
The first BCS bowl game kicks off on New Year’s Day with the Granddaddy of them All, the Rose Bowl, where the Stanford Cardinal and the Wisconsin Badgers will duke it out in a battle to beat the NCAA football betting odds.
Is the third time the charm for the Badgers? This is the third straight year in which they are coming to Pasadena as the Big Ten champs, and for the third straight time, they are looking defeat squarely in the face. Head Coach Bret Bielema jumped ship and is heading to Arkansas, but legendary Head Coach Barry Alvarez is going to take over for one more game with the Badgers. It’s difficult to argue that an 8-5 Wisconsin team really deserves to be in the Rose Bowl, knowing that the team truthfully finished third in the Big Ten Leaders Division this year. However, when you look back at the struggles this team had at the outset of the year, you see why this team turned out to be so battle tested. Remember the loss to Oregon State in Corvallis? The near miss against Utah State? The losses to Ohio State and Penn State and Nebraska? Those teams all turned out to be pretty darn good, and the defeat to the Huskers was avenged solidly in the form of a 70-31 romp in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Stanford’s defense is going to have to pave the way to victory on New Year’s Day. The club ranked third in the nation against the rush at 88.0 yards per game, and it allowed just 339.0 yards and 17.5 points per game against one of the nation’s surprisingly toughest schedules. The team finished out the year with seven straight wins, including covering five of those games, and it all really got started when Stanford had the Notre Dame Fighting Irish dead to rights in South Bend. Who knows what might have happened had RB Stepfan Taylor been properly ruled across the end zone for a touchdown in OT? The Cardinal might have won that game, and at 12-1, they might have been playing for all the marbles. Instead, it is clear that this team has really taken a major step in the right direction. No slight meant to Head Coach Jim Harbaugh or QB Andrew Luck, but the Cardinal never won the Pac-12 or went to the Rose Bowl when they were in Palo Alto. Head Coach David Shaw truly is rounding into one of the best bosses in the nation.
Wisconsin really might be the better of these two teams, though, as shocking as that sounds. Ever since the team really focused more on getting RB Montee Ball the football, good things have happened. It’s going to be tough against Stanford’s run defense, but Alvarez should be able to dial up some of that magic in what might turn out to be a big time upset in the Rose Bowl. Wisconsin 31 – Stanford 21