Addicted To Quack lays out in full sabermetric glory exactly why Wisconsin is doomed in the Rose Bowl. In a nutshell: Oregon's defense is deceptively good and Wisconsin's is deceptively bad and slow. Which, to be fair, holds several kernels of truth. Rewatch the first half of the Illinois game and prepare to change your boxers. But while we're kneeling at the altar of FEI rankings let's pay some homage to offensive side of the ball where our offense, like, could totally beat up your offense.
Adjusted for strength of schedule, and measuring criteria like offensive explosiveness and first down rate, the Badgers own the No. 2 ranked offense in the land, behind only Baylor. The Ducks fall all the way to 15th. FEI rates strength of schedule by the odds that an elite offense would perform above average against each of the defenses a team has faced during the season (yeah, it's wacky). Wisconsin's offense faced the 12th toughest defensive slate in this regard. Oregon faced just the 64th toughest.
While it is true that Wisconsin has not face a true spread option team this season, they did face one in 2010 and stuffed it. Facing Rich Rodriguez' Michigan Wolverines, ranked No. 2 in the nation in offensive FEI last season, the Badgers rolled up a 24-0 halftime lead while holding the Denard Robinson and Co. to 124 total yards. The Wolverines found a groove in the second half, but the game was out of hand by then.
You can draw your own conclusion. Mine is that there is probably good reason why the Ducks are still 6-point favorites. I also think anyone predicting a blowout in either direction is probably drinking their own special shade of Kool-Aid. And for the record, the stats agree. Football Outsiders' F/+ rankings have the Badgers walking away 0.5-point victors, the second tightest margin of any of this season's 35 bowl games.
More from Addicted To Quack on both teams' respective running games.
More on this year's Rose Bowl swag, and why we should feel happy for the players but also icky about the system.
We're going to need a "Ducks defense no respect" tag soon.
Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti on defending Russell Wilson.
This will probably be very lame in practice, but if you are at the Rose Bowl this is required: Operation Jump Around.
Yesterday's Rose Bowl matchup comparison: the assistant coaches.
Love all around as Chryst and Bostad bid their farewells.
Penn State has found its new head football co ... oh, scratch that.
And in awesome news: The B1G and Pac 12 are set to begin annual interleague play beginning in 2017.