No. 8 Stanford (11-2) vs. Wisconsin (8-5), 5 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: Stanford by 6.
Series Record: Wisconsin leads 4-0-1.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Stanford can close out its Pac-12 championship season with its first victory in the Rose Bowl since 1972, while Wisconsin has a chance for its first win in three straight trips to the Granddaddy of Them All. The Badgers will be led by athletic director Barry Alvarez, who picked up his coaching whistle for one more game after Bret Bielema left for Arkansas.
Wisconsin RB Montee Ball vs. Stanford LB Shayne Skov. Ball has scored more touchdowns than any player in FBS history as the senior leader of the Badgers' deliberate, ground-oriented offense. Skov is the leading tackler on the nation's third-stingiest rushing defense, allowing just 87.7 yards per game. If the Cardinal shut down Ball, the Badgers might be buried.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Wisconsin: LB Mike Taylor. The senior has more tackles than any FBS player over the past two seasons, and he'll have to lead an impressive defensive effort to slow down Stanford RB Stepfan Taylor and the Cardinal's brutally effective offense.
Stanford: QB Kevin Hogan. The redshirt freshman took over the starting job in November and immediately beat four ranked teams, including top-ranked Oregon. If he avoids rookie jitters for one more game, he'll win the Rose Bowl - a feat even Andrew Luck never accomplished.
FACTS & FIGURES
The game is the 99th edition of the Rose Bowl. ... New Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen is expected to watch the game from the sideline while Alvarez and the Badgers' current coordinators run the team. ... Stanford is playing in four consecutive bowl games for the first time in school history. ... The Badgers earned this unlikely rematch of the 2000 Rose Bowl by upsetting Nebraska in the Big Ten title game. Wisconsin is the first five-loss team to make the Rose Bowl, but three of its defeats were in overtime. ... Both teams have played in three consecutive BCS bowl games. Stanford played in the Orange and Fiesta bowls in the past two seasons. Oregon is the only other school with a three-game BCS bowl streak. ... Wisconsin is the third Big Ten team to make three straight Rose Bowls, the first since Michigan in 1977-79. .. The Badgers will be the first team to play in three straight BCS bowls with three different starting quarterbacks. ... Ball needs 150 yards to match the career Rose Bowl rushing record of Ron Dayne, the Badgers' career rushing leader and Heisman Trophy winner.
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