Ultimate Rose Bowl Preview Guide: Oregon vs. Wisconsin

Update: new links!

The 98th Rose Bowl takes place at 2 pm PT. Should be a shootout, and as good a college football game as any you’ll see this year. Lots of points- the over/under (again just for recreational purposes) is 72.

And the passer rating record will likely fall in this game too. (More on that here)

So here’s everything you need to know about the “Grand Daddy of them All,” created and produced with the WIFI at “Grand Daddy’s Lounge” in downtown Los Angeles.

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Five Most Memorable Rose Bowl Games of Recent Memory

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Earning the right to play in the Rose Bowl is a dream for every football loving kid in both Pac-12 and Big Ten country. “The Granddaddy of them all,” this game between the Wisconsin Badgers and Oregon Ducks will be the 98th edition. By far the oldest of all college football bowl games, the centennial year will also see Pasadena hosting the national title game in 2014.

I have a very close friend who’s originally from Pasadena, California and lives here in Chicago today. And I’ve explained to her that earning “your way to Pasadena” is the pinnacle for Big Ten football fans. Pasadena exists in this framework as an Eden, a refuge from winter where it’s supposedly 74 and sunny everyday, and watching the sun set against the mountain behind the Rose Bowl Stadium is supposedly worth the price of admission by itself.

It’s home to her, a place; but to Big Ten folk it’s a Utopian state of mind.

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Russell Wilson Should Break Passer Rating Record in Rose Bowl

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Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson will enter the 98th Rose Bowl game with a passer rating of 191.6.

I bring this up because Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III just finished the 2011 season (including the wild Alamo Bowl win) with a pass efficiency of 189.5, which broke the FBS (previously known as college football Division-1A) single season record formerly held by Hawaii’s Colt Brennan.

I think we can officially call this the year of quarterbacking statistics.

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Rose Bowl Preview: Oregon Ducks Have Weapons to Win Shootout

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Is the third time a charm for Chip Kelly and his Oregon Ducks? Will the 2012 Rose Bowl end differently than last year’s national title game and the 2010 Rose Bowl?

The knock on Kelly’s Ducks is that if you get an entire month to prepare for them, then stopping the 3rd in the nation in total yards Quack Attack isn’t so difficult.

However, the Ducks are 6 point favorites in this game. And this is the first year of the Pac-12 Championship game, so the layoff this year is significantly shorter. They are the school to have a current three game BCS streak.

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Oregon’s 2nd and 3rd Ground Weapons: Kenjon Barner and Darron Thomas

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The Quack Attack is largely built on short, fast guys who will beat anyone at setting the edge. Once they turn the corner against you, you’re done. Chip Kelly has made the Oregon Ducks into an offensive juggernaut by recruiting and molding the perfect guys to fit his system.

The focal point of the Oregon Ducks offense is tailback LaMichael James, last year’s Doak Walker Award winner and this year’s national leader in rushing yards per game. After that, the Ducks get major ground gains from running back Kenjon Barner and quarterback Darron Thomas.

Barner is a three-year backup who could start anywhere. He’s been so good that he, like James has a NFL draft decision to make.

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Nation’s Leading Rusher, Oregon’s LaMichael James Ready for Rose Bowl

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Running back LaMichael James made some headlines this week. For what appeared to be his deathly fear of roller coasters.

He’s not afraid to go really fast on the college football field, as he is the focal point of Oregon Ducks offense. The Ducks go at a ridiculously fast pace; as they have scored 35 touchdowns on drives of 70 or more; each consuming less than three minutes. James is averaging a national best 149.6 yards on the ground while running for 1,646 yards; 4th in the country. Despite missing two games with a dislocated elbow.

He’s the school’s all-time leading rusher; just 77 yards shy of 5,000. Just don’t confuse with LeGarrette Blount, which is surprisingly easier to do than you think. James took over for the now Tampa Bay Buccaneers tailback at Oregon when Blount was suspended for his involvement in that brawl in 2009.

But question #1 for James is obviously: forgoing his senior year to enter the NFL draft?

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Rose Bowl Preview: #10 Wisconsin Can and Will Hang With #5 Oregon

 

 

 

 

 

For the second consecutive year, the Wisconsin Badgers find themselves representing the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl. However, this time around, they get a Pac-12 powerhouse in Oregon instead of a pesky TCU squad who proved to be too much in an upset in Pasadena.

The battle between the Badgers (11-2) and Ducks (11-2) is one of the most intriguing match-ups of the bowl season, particularly because the two teams are so much alike. The game will feature two of the most potent offenses in the country and both teams seem to be playing their best football right now. [Read more…]

Oregon Ducks Rose Bowl Bits: Lifesaving OL, Trapped in Elevator, Unis

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The Granddaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl awaits for the #5 Oregon Ducks. Chip Kelly is going for his first BCS win in three tries. But plenty of stories have already surfaced RE: the Ducks during this Rose Bowl week. Let’s get you caught up.

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Oregon and Wisconsin Joint Disneyland Visit Kicks Off Rose Bowl Week

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Rose Bowl rivals Wisconsin and Oregon began their Rose Bowl week by visiting Disneyland in Anaheim yesterday. This event traditionally marks the first official joint public appearance of the two Rose Bowl teams, a Disneyland tradition dating back to 1959.

Both teams were welcomed by Mickey Mouse in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle. Following the ceremony, Badgers quarterback Russell Wilson and Ducks tight end David Paulsen led their teams onto the Matterhorn Bobsleds and then took a spin on the Tea Cups. Numerous players and coaches including Badgers safety Aaron Henry and Oregon Coach Chip Kelly enjoyed the 76 degree weather at the happiest place on Earth.

From the AP, via the San Francisco Chronicle:

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Illini Bowl History: Mixed Results, Lots of UCLA for some Reason

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This year marks Illinois’ 17th bowl appearance, where they are 7-9 all-time. The Big Ten has had to play 16 bowl games in the state of their opponent since 2005. That’s more than double that of any other conference, and extremely unfair. And that number will increase by five this holiday season.

By appearing in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco versus UCLA, the Illini are facing a bowl opponent in their home state for the 4th consecutive time. For some reason, they’ve drawn UCLA in 4/17 appearances, nearly one quarter. In this match-up of two traditional college basketball powers, the Bruins hold a 3-1 advantage over Illinois.

Let’s take a look at Illinois’ bowl history:

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Illini Bowl Game History and Bowl Summaries

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It’s bowl week, prime time for college football and the Illinois Fighting Illini are taking part this year. The fifth installment of the Texas Bowl is tomorrow night. The bowl has been affiliated with the Big 12 Conference since its inception in 2006, and 2010 is the first time it pairs teams from the Big 12 and the Big Ten. The Texas Bowl holds the fifth choice among both Big Ten and Big 12 bowls, after the BCS bowls are announced.

Previous Results of the Texas Bowl
2006 – Rutgers 37, Kansas State 10
2007 – TCU 20, Houston 13
2008 – Rice 38, Western Michigan 14
2009 – Navy 35, Missouri 13

By Paul M. Banks

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