While the college football bowls are beginning to be announced, it was already known that the Pac-12 champion Stanford Cardinal would meet the Big Ten champion Wisconsin Badgers on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, California to determine who will be named Rose Bowl champions.
Stanford earned the opportunity to play in the prestigious bowl game with an incredible end to the season, which included back-to-back wins against the UCLA Bruins. Prior to the two consecutive wins over UCLA, Stanford knocked off then No. 2 ranked Oregon.
Wisconsin’s road to the Rose Bowl was slightly less glamorous.
The Badgers earned a spot in the Big Ten championship thanks to postseason bowl bans impacting the Ohio State Buckeyes and Penn State Nittany Lions. Wisconsin was actually the third-ranked team in the Big Ten’s Leaders Division, but they earned a spot in the Big Ten championship game against Nebraska courtesy of the sanctions.
While many will argue Wisconsin did not deserve an opportunity to play in the Rose Bowl, the Badgers made a big statement by capturing the Big Ten crown with a 70-31 shellacking over the Cornhuskers.
It is a match up that many would not have predicted for the Rose Bowl, but it sets up to be an entertaining battle.