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Rose Bowl 2012: Traditional Wisconsin-Oregon Matchup Important for Tradition

EUGENE, OR - DECEMBER 02 : Wide receiver Josh Huff #1 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates after the Oregon Ducks won the Pac-12 Championship game against the UCLA Bruins at Autzen Stadium on December 2, 2011 in Eugene, Oregon. The Ducks won the game 49-31 to earn a berth in the Rose Bowl. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images
Chris KennedyCorrespondent IDecember 31, 2011

In the recent frenzy of shifting teams and conferences with little sense for geography, isn't it a bit refreshing to hold some tradition intact with the recent Pac-12/Big Ten agreement of future matchups? 

The two conferences have already had an agreement to play in the Rose Bowl game since the early 1960s and its first game, in 1902, featured Michigan versus Stanford. To steep the tradition further, the Rose Bowl is the longest-running bowl game, hence the nickname "The Granddaddy of them all."

When virtually every other bowl game seems to be named after the Dow Jones Industrial average, the Rose Bowl has retained its charm and importance. Vizio, the current corporate sponsor, simply presents the game, because the game is more important than marketing money.

This year's Rose Bowl matchup is a perfect example of why these two conferences are as sweet of a combination as chocolate and caramel. No bowl game features two more contrasting styles of play.

Wisconsin comes in with its physical offensive line and "Montee Ball" control offense. Oregon comes in with a spread 'em out and sting 'em fast no-huddle offense.

Oregon's connection to Nike has led the surge in "pro combat" uniforms, with an increasing number of college football teams adopting them. Oregon has essentially had a different style of uniform for each game this season. Wisconsin has had no noticeable change in its uniforms since 1991, when Barry Alvarez changed the block "W" on the helmets to a motion "W."

The matchups will pit the West versus the East. OK, technically the Midwest, but the East hasn't stacked up on the college football landscape, so the Big Ten's the best representative. The most recent agreement Pac-12/Big Ten to keep that going, like a Snickers chocolate and caramel bar, really satisfies.

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