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Rose Bowl 2012: Bad Clock Management Dooms Russell Wilson's Wisconsin Badgers

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Rose Bowl 2012: Bad Clock Management Dooms Russell Wilson's Wisconsin Badgers
Harry How/Getty Images

The Wisconsin Badgers could have had a last-second chance to fling a touchdown pass and tie up the game against the Oregon Ducks in the Rose Bowl on Monday.

The only problem was, they didn't get that last opportunity because they couldn't spike the ball in time with the clock running out on Oregon's 25-yard line.

It didn't help that the Badgers were outscored 10-0 in the fourth quarter, but the reality is they did have a shot at a final throw into the end zone, and they blew that shot in what wound up as a 45-38 Oregon victory.

Clock mismanagement is one of the most maddening things for a team. It shouldn't happen, especially when you have a head coach like Bret Bielema and quarterback like Russell Wilson, but it happens far too often in football and Monday's game was a prime example.

Is Bret Bielema in part to blame for Wisconsin's loss?

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Bielema burned two timeouts in the third quarter against the Ducks, which left the Badgers with no timeouts and only a minute remaining at the end of the game. There was a debate whether Wilson downed the ball in time, but the reality is the Badgers should have never been in that position. With those extra two timeouts, they could have taken more time down the field in a game where they were able to score fairly often.

The end result was a 45-38 loss and second straight loss in the Rose Bowl for the Badgers (they lost to TCU last year, 21-19).

It's also worth noting that Bielema was criticized earlier this season when he took timeouts before Michigan State completed a Hail Mary to win the game. That loss could have kept them out of the BCS championship game in the long run.

The Badgers should be proud of the season they had. They went 11-3 and captured the Big Ten title.

But you can't help but wonder what a few extra timeouts could have done for this squad.

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