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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

December 1, 2012 at 8:23 PM

The Rose Bowl has that sinking feeling . . .

Wisconsin is just wrapping up a blowout of gargantuan proportions over Nebraska, and it’s not good news for the Rose Bowl.

Not only are the Badgers going to Pasadena with an 8-5 record, they’re going for the third straight year. They’ll face Stanford, which punched its ticket by beating UCLA Friday night for the Pac-12 title.

Wisconsin has a reputation for traveling well, and this might be the ultimate test. Not only is Pasadena getting to be old hat, it’s not an elite team by any stretch. Wisconsin is making its fifth trip to the Rose Bowl in the BCS era (since 1998), which ties the Badgers with USC in that period. And its three straight trips marks the first time that’s happened for a Big Ten team since Michigan did it from 1977-79.

The Wisconsin-Stanford matchup is the same one as the Cardinal had in its last trip to the Rose Bowl under Tyrone Willingham in the 1999 season.

It might not be the toughest ticket. Not only is it not a glamorous season for Wisconsin, but Stanford doesn’t have anything approaching a rabid fan base. Perhaps the 13-year span since it last went to the Rose Bowl will help fire it up.

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