Rose Bowl 2012: Oregon Will Come Up Big vs. Wisconsin for Run-Down Pac-12

Kyle VassaloFeatured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2012

EUGENE, OR - DECEMBER 02 : Defensive end Tony Washington #91 and running back LaMichael James #21 of the Oregon Ducks celebrate winning the Pac-12 Championship 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

USC is on a bowl ban, teams are getting acclimated to the newly expanded Pac-12 and Stanford has a tall task in front of them in the Fiesta Bowl. So, it's up to the University of Oregon to shine in the Rose Bowl and give the reeling conference a much needed boost.

High-profile coaches are being hired left and right in the Pac-12. While the future of the conference is bright, Oregon needs to deliver now and reestablish that the Pac-12 has the bullies of the Rose Bowl.

Oregon has two losses this season, but don't think for a second that they aren't an elite team. They score over 45 PPG. Although Wisconsin scores just under that mark, they aren't nearly as explosive as the Ducks.

LaMichael James is a threat to take every touch to the house. Darron Thomas and the high-tempo offense have been held to 40 or less just three times this season. Not so coincidentally, they lost two out of three of those outings.

Wisconsin hasn't given up over that mark in any game this season, but no team on their schedule has had nearly the firepower of the Ducks.

Russell Wilson and Montee Ball lead a high-powered offense themselves. As we saw with Andrew Luck's Stanford team, though, power does not always beat speed.

As long as Oregon can slow Wisconsin's run game, the Ducks' aggressive offensive attack is going to take the Badgers completely out of their game.

The Badgers are going to try to overpower the Ducks, but they aren't ready for the speed that Oregon is going to unleash.

While the conference is trying to get back on its feet, Oregon will come up big by imposing their will on Wisconsin.