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Badger Bits: Game On!

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Happy New Year everyone. It's late on the West Coast, 2012, and some people have to get some sleep before they hop in a car at 6:00 a.m. to drive from San Diego up to Pasadena for this Rose Bowl game that some people in some circles have deemed to be a very big deal. The fine folks here at Bucky's 5th Quarter and over at Addicted To Quack have analyzed every square inch of this game over the last month, so there isn't much more to say, really. That said, you can still find entirely too many links below covering everything you need to know before kickoff.

Temperature check? Fearing the worst, but optimistic because our best is still as good as anyone else's in the country. This game could be the push of the metaphorical snowball down the hill leading to an ever growing, accelerating mass that rolls perpetually, winning national titles and beating Michigan and Ohio State for five-star recruits. Wisconsin is still a 6-point underdog, however, so also take the time to appreciate that we're playing in the greatest bowl game in the country for the second year in a row, and 11 other teams in the B1G are not.

Go Badgers.

Gameday Links:

Necessary rundown of media outlets covering the game live.

Tom Oates writes that a win would silence the persistent nabobs still unsatisfied with the jobs Bret Bielema and Chip Kelly have done, respectively. Jeff Potrykus on Bielema trying to live up to Barry's stellar bowl record.

Five things to watch for during the game from the Wisconsin State Journal. Standard preview-y stuff via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Potrykus with a full breakdown of the game. Also see: Observations from Oregon practice.

Five things you didn't know about Wisconsin from OTE's Hilary Lee. Oregon's edition comes via ATQ's David Piper. Also, something about beer.

Piper also puts the 95-year drought since Oregon's last Rose Bowl victory in perspective.

OTE's Graham Filler on why this year's game is, like, the biggest of big deals.

Predictions everywhere. Roundups from the State Journal and Journal Sentinel.

Tom Mulhern with a feature on Peter Konz: "Talking to Konz is a joyous experience."

The legacy of Russell Wilson. With 121 yards passing he will become Wisconsin's first ever 3,000-yard passer.

Paul Chryst has one foot out the door, and no reason to hold back the glowing praise for soon-to-be former players like Russell Wilson and Montee Ball.

Mike Taylor and Chris Borland get their proper due, of course.

Travis Frederick and Ricky Wagner try to live up to the legacy of Gabe Carimi and John Moffitt.

Last up in the Journal Sentinel's bio-palooza: Bradie Ewing.

Wisconsin's struggles on kickoff coverage are well documented, though there may be good reason for the floundering. The Badgers will face a player ranked in the Top 25 nationally in kick returns for the sixth time this season.

Ron Dayne update: living in Madison and training for the U.S. Olympic Trials in discus.

Dave Heller with the full timeline of the Badgers' pep rally, and the kickoff luncheon. Here's Pat Butrym and Aaron Henry speaking via the State Journal.

Big-boy stuff: ESPN sees two teams hoping to certify their elite status. SI's Stewart Mandel likes the Ducks by eight.

Oh yeah, and the basketball team laid an egg. BT Powerhouse picks through the bricked threes and absent defense. Recaps and quotes via the State Journal and Journal Sentinel.

Wrapping up: Mitch Thompson earned the start in goal against the U.S. Under-18 Team on Saturday, and his teammates go wild.