Rose Bowl 2013: Breaking Down Wisconsin vs. Stanford

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2013

STANFORD, CA - NOVEMBER 30:  Stanford Cardinal head coach David Shaw runs on to the field with his team before their game against the UCLA Bruins in the Pac-12 Championship game at Stanford Stadium on November 30, 2012 in Stanford, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In one of the most exciting games of the New Year, the No. 6 Stanford Cardinal will take on the unranked Wisconsin Badgers in what will be an all-out battle for 2013 Rose Bowl supremacy.

After shocking the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Big Ten championship, Wisconsin is ready to face off against its toughest test of the year in the vaunted defense of the Cardinal.

Stanford beat the No. 17 UCLA Bruins two weeks in a row to capture the Pac-12 championship, and they are looking to take the team’s red-hot winning streak into Pasadena and walk away with the 2013 Rose Bowl trophy.

These two teams will be fighting for the pride of their school and their teammates, but the more talented Cardinal will prove to be too much for the Badgers and should have enough in the tank to take home a huge win on the national stage.


When: Tuesday, Jan. 1 at 5 p.m. ET

Where: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.

Watch: ESPN

Live Stream: ESPN3

Listen: ESPN Radio


Prediction: Stanford 33, Wisconsin 17

While the Wisconsin Badgers will bring the best intentions into their Tuesday matchup with Stanford, the Cardinal are the more talented team across the depth chart, and that will result in a lopsided loss for the Big Ten representatives.

Wisconsin stunned the college football world when they hung 70 points on the tough Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Big Ten Championship game, but the Badgers have yet to play a defense as stout as the Cardinal’s unit.

With just 17.5 points allowed per game (13th in the sport), Stanford’s defense is the biggest strength of the team.

The Badgers’ defensive unit is also impressive, ranking 19th in college football with just 19.1 points allowed per game, but they have not met with an offensive unit as hot as Stanford’s has been over the last seven weeks of the season.

Since freshman quarterback Kevin Hogan took the starting job midway through the season, the Cardinal have gone 5-0 with an offense that features a heavy dosage of the run and just enough passing to keep defenses honest.

There is no doubting how talented the Badgers are, but those that think Wisconsin has a chance against an opponent with a real defensive unit is naïve.

This isn’t the Big Ten anymore; Stanford wins huge.


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