Badgers smelling roses

By Tim Metzler

Online News Editor

On Dec. 1, the Wisconsin badgers earned their third consecutive trip to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., by annihilating the Nebraska Cornhuskers 70-31.  The real issue, though, is not on whether or not the Badgers will be up for taking on their next opponent, the No. 8 ranked Stanford Cardinal, but rather on whether the Badgers even deserve to be in the Rose Bowl.

Officially, the Badgers are the third place team in their division, behind the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes and the recently scandalized Penn State Nittany Lions.  However, Ohio State is suspended from bowl games this year.  The suspension came last year after five Ohio State players were found to have been trading Ohio State gear and memorabilia for cash and discounted tattoos between 2008 and 2010.

Like the Buckeyes, the Nittany Lions are also suspended from bowl games, but their suspension goes through the 2016 season.  The reason for this incredible suspension is for the alleged cover up of the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal.

As a result of both of these teams being suspended from bowl games, Wisconsin, unranked at the time, was able to step into the conference championship matchup against No. 14 ranked Nebraska.  As was already mentioned, the Badgers won in a blowout.

So, through what has been a magnificently odd turn of events, the Badgers will get another shot at claiming the Rose Bowl title.  The same title that has eluded them for the last two years.

In 2011, the Badgers lost to the TCU Horned Frogs in a close, defense-headed game: 21-19.

In 2012, a second straight Rose Bowl loss came at the hands of the Oregon Ducks.  Even if you don’t remember the game, the history books do.  The Badgers and the Ducks have a record combined score for the Rose Bowl: 83 total points.

In 2013, the Badgers will go up against the Stanford Cardinal.  The last time Stanford played against the Badgers in a bowl game was in 2000, when Ron Dayne led the Badgers to a 17-9 victory.  Of course, that was also the last time the Badgers won the Rose Bowl.

For those who don’t know, the Rose Bowl is one of the annual American college football games that are played on Jan. 1.  It is the oldest annual college football bowl game, and many consider it the most prestigious bowl game of all.  For Wisconsin, this will be their ninth trip to the Rose Bowl.

The upcoming game is sure to be exciting, with the now ranked (No. 23) Badgers facing the No. 8 Stanford Cardinal.  For Wisconsin fans everywhere, hope lies in the talents of Montee Ball, who, this year, broke the career rushing touchdown record for division one college athletes.  The previous NCAA record had been held by Travis Prentice, who played for the Miami University (in Oxford, Ohio) RedHawks and who had scored 78 total touchdowns.

For Wisconsin, opportunity knocks for a third time.  Hopefully, the third time is a charm.

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