Now that a second consecutive Rose Bowl appearance for the Wisconsin Badgers is a very real possibility, some Badger fans seem to be getting cold feet. The main concern of these people is the strength of Wisconsin's potential Rose Bowl foe, the Oregon Ducks. (This fear is well documented in a comments section such as the one on this bowl projections article.) Indeed, Chip Kelly's team can be a scary one to face- they operate at a breakneck speed on offense, try to maximize the number of possessions in a game, and attempt to spread your defense out as much as possible.
Yes, maybe facing an above-average SEC opponent like South Carolina in a New Year's Florida bowl would be an easier task for the Badgers. So should we root for them to stub their toe against Penn State this weekend? If not Saturday, how about dropping a second straight game to the Spartans in Indianapolis? Both hardly sound like palatable options to me.
Even if the Ducks were to roll in Pasadena, a Rose Bowl loss wouldn't take anything away a second straight Big Ten Championship title. And between you and me, Oregon doesn't seem that frightening this year.
Sure, the Ducks clobbered a Wisconsin-like team in Stanford, but they also lost to USC at home. A USC team that barely squeaked by Minnesota earlier in the year. Say what you want about the Badger defense, but it rarely gives up big plays (save for two well-known ones). With a month to prepare, Wisconsin's defense would be more ready than ever for the Ducks. Russell Wilson is not one to back down from a challenge, and Pasadena would be a great place to finish his career with a bang. And who knows, maybe Oregon will lose in the Pac-12 championship, and the Badgers would face UCLA or Utah instead. It's just not worth shivering in fear over Oregon in November.
Behavior of fans might be an issue on Saturday at Camp Randall vs. Penn State, but probably not. Let's face it, most of the students who 'cause trouble' at Camp will be away for Turkey Day weekend, leaving only the diehard student fans.
NATIONAL CHAMPIONS! The UW men's cross county squad pulled in the program's fifth national championship yesterday in Terre Haute, Ind. The Badgers last took home the title in 2005. Mohammed Ahmed led the way for the Badgers with a fifth-place finish. Congrats to coach Mick Byrne and all of the cross country runners.
Doc Meanwell won a lot of games as a head coach at Wisconsin early in the 20th century, and Bo Ryan is about to tie his win total tonight vs. UMKC. Interestingly, Ryan is well versed in Meanwell's teachings.
Penn State just installed a Wildcat package and used it well versus Ohio State last week, so the Badgers will have to be ready for it. The Lions ran it with two different wideouts. A possible wrinkle on Saturday would be throwing the ball out of it to QB Matt McGloin.
Offensive line coach Bob Bostad on Wisconsin's 12-play, 7 minute, 30 yard touchdown drive vs. Illinois: "That's our game," Bostad said. "If people don't understand that by now, then they don't know who we are. Then they need to live in Oregon." Well said, Bob.
Dan Wetzel at Yahoo! Sports thinks that Jim Delany's recent decisions has made the Big Ten Conference weaker on a national stage.
Montee Ball is going toe-to-toe with Bama's Trent Richardson and Oregon's LaMichael James as one of the three finalists for the Doak Walker Award. John Clay was a finalist last year, so let's see if Ball can go one step further and win the thing.
Penn State still hasn't lost a road game this year. To be fair, Penn State hasn't played in Camp Randall this year.
Join the Badger conversation on Facebook! Go to our Facebook page and "like" us!
For more Wisconsin Badgers news and tidbits, follow me on Twitter (@AdamTheVictor).