Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE
Here's guessing Stanford is not going to give up 70 to the Badgers in January.
Wisconsin becomes the first team with five losses to make the Rose Bowl in a third straight appearance, and only the third Big Ten program to achieve three straight Rose Bowl appearances (Ohio State and Michigan being the others).
After two straight losses to TCU and Oregon, Wisconsin will try their wares against Stanford, which was one of the victims when Ron Dayne won two straight Rose Bowl games in 1999-2000.
Similar to Wisconsin, Stanford has not been beaten in regulation since the last weekend in September, falling only in overtime at Notre Dame. The Cardinal bring one of the strongest defenses into Pasadena, holding opponents to only 17.5 points per game.
If Stanford can stop the dynamic runners at Oregon, you can bet they will be ready to slow down Montee Ball and James White.
Wisconsin will understand the team on the opposing sideline, as Stanford is also driven first by a running game led by senior RB Stepfan Taylor. Freshman Kevin Hogan has taken over at quarterback and has found some quick success, just like Joel Stave did in Madison.
Thus, this game will likely be played with nearly a continuously-running clock as both teams move with runs and long drives.
In a battle of strong defenses, one has to favor the team that did not drop three close games in overtime down the stretch. Wisconsin has all the Pasadena experience and more star power, but Stanford may have a better sense of how to win a close game, just like TCU was two years ago.
Prediction: Stanford 20, Wisconsin 17.
Total Big Ten Predicted Record 2012 Bowl Season: 2 Wins, 5 Losses (e.g., about the usual).
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