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Pac-12 Confidential

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

December 31, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Pac-12 picks: The Rose Bowl

Stanford (minus 6) vs. Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl — This ought to be a slug-it-out, hammer-and-tongs kind of game, with little of the frou-frou associated with a lot of today’s college offenses. There’s little question Stanford (11-2) is the better team; Wisconsin is 7-5. But I think the Badgers are a little undervalued here, for two reasons: They seem to be playing better now than they were earlier in the season — witness their demolition of Nebraska in the Big Ten title game after losing to NU in September. And second, I’m guessing that the emergency addition of Barry Alvarez, a coaching master in the Rose Bowl, will be a lift for the Cheeseheads. (Who knows, it could materialize as a minus if somehow Alvarez doesn’t have a good handle on the inner workings of this team, but I doubt that’ll be the case.) For the Cardinal, this is an opportunity at a 12-win season, and more evidence that Kevin Hogan can be special at quarterback going forward. I see a tight one. Stanford 24, Wisconsin 22.

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