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Wisconsin football: B1G Title game and Rose Bowl roundtable

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We put a bow on the B1G Title loss and look ahead to a fun bowl matchup with Oregon.

@B5QPhotos; Matt Fleming

There was a football game that happened on Saturday that included the Wisconsin Badgers. It didn’t go, in any way, like we all thought it would and it ended up being quite disappointing.

However! There is a new football game coming up in a few weeks that also includes the Wisconsin Badgers and hopefully it will go exactly as we want it to and no one will be disappointed.

Here is what Bob, Belz, Tyler and Ryan thought/think about these two football games!

What are your final thoughts on the B1G Championship game?

Bob: I think Wisconsin put itself in a position to win the game, but the better team won. You can’t play only one nearly perfect half of football against a team like Ohio State, and that’s why the Badgers lost. And now I really want to forget about it and move on.

Tyler: It was fun for a half and miserable for a half. I know you can point to a lot of things and hindsight blah blah blah but the third and seven scramble conversion was the dagger. I know what you’re thinking, a dagger while winning 21-7? Yes. All momentum seemed to escape in that sequence and from there it like watching a dead man walking. It felt just like 2016 and 2017 and you knew what was coming next.

@B5QPhotos; Matt Fleming

Belz: I thought the Badgers played extremely well, and were the aggressor in the first half. Football, and sports in general, are momentum dependent in a lot of ways. Momentum swung early in the second half after some mistakes that completely knocked Wisconsin out of that aggressor role. The rest is history.

Ryan: It happened. The first half was fun, but Ohio State woke up after halftime and won easily.

Ok, now that we’ve put that to bed let’s move on. The Badgers are going to the Rose Bowl! How cool is that?

Bob: It’s pretty awesome considering the expectations I had at the beginning of the year. It’s a great accomplishment after a disappointing 2018 season.

Tyler: It’s pretty exciting. Obviously the National Championship is the premier game, but the spectacle of the Rose Bowl is huge for a team and a program to keep building momentum. In 2013 I told myself the next time the Badgers went to the Rose Bowl, I would go. SO time to put my money where my mouth is and book my flight!

Belz: It is so cool. For the Badgers to bounce back from going 8-5 last season, and reaffirm their status at the top of the Big Ten West division is huge for the program. The Rose Bowl is a big opportunity to show the nation that they belong within the upper echelon of college football, and that they can win the big game.

Ryan: It’s awesome. I had lofty expectations for this season and even with those expectations, I knew it would be tough to make the playoff, so the Rose Bowl is the perfect consolation. Gotta love a New Year’s Six game.

What are your early thoughts on the Oregon Ducks?

Bob: Oregon is a really balanced team with a very good quarterback in Justin Herbert. It is more well-rounded than the 2011 edition Wisconsin met in the 2012 Rose Bowl, but that means it is also a little less dynamic. Wisconsin will have all it can handle, but the Badgers are no stranger to playing top 10 teams.

Tyler: I’ve been high on this Oregon team since the preseason. I think what makes them strong is that they have talent and experience at every position. Justin Herbert may not be the best in CFB, but he’s solid. Their offensive line is incredibly experienced and battle tested. They’ve got skill positions and a defense that is really underrated. I think this will be a great match up for Wisconsin.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 30 Oregon State at Oregon Photo by Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Belz: Oregon is built very similar to Wisconsin in regards to their strength in the trenches, with a strong defense and a dynamic running game. I think that this will be a fun game to watch.

Ryan: Herbert is a great QB and Oregon is a talented team. They beat one of the better teams in the country in the Pac-12 Championship game. It should be a hard fought game.

What are you least favorite memories from the last time Wisconsin played Oregon in the Rose Bowl?

Bob: The Jared Abbrederis cursed fumble…and that’s all I remember from the negative side of things. Other than that, knowing that the Russell Wilson era was over was a difficult pill to swallow.

Tyler: The fumble was hard, as was the spike. The fumble was weird because the ball seemed to just be sitting there for an eternity. The spike was something you knew was going to be bad, but watching it unfold was hard. God, I hope they win this time around.

Belz: It has to be the fumble that Bob and Ryan referenced. I’m going to continue to repress that.

Ryan: Abbrederis fumbling and us losing by a single score, like every loss that season. Oregon was just so dynamic and was almost like a track team in pads.

I lied...one last question about the B1G Championship game. What the hell happened at halftime? How did the Badgers play so well in the first half and then the second half started and...sigh.

Bob: Drew. Ohio State is the best team in the country. Wisconsin caught the Buckeyes napping in the first half and played incredible football. Wisconsin ran out of fuel in the second half right after it woke the sleeping giant.

Tyler: It’s all about adjustments. If they played with no halftime Wisconsin wins that game. But, as we know, that isn’t how football works. Ryan Day made adjustments and woke his team up. Chryst and co. probably were just looking to see how long they could hold on at that point.

Again, the third and seven scramble conversion just to score a couple plays later killed them. The 10% Wisconsin fans in the stadium went hush. Essentially said, we’ve seen this movie before and then decided to watch it again despite knowing the sad part is going to come along and make you sad.

Belz: Ready for a long answer? Yes?

Ok, here we go.

Paul Chryst played everything perfectly in the first half. The Badgers took the ball and immediately punched Ohio State in the mouth. The Buckeyes were obviously shocked a bit, and Wisconsin fed off that momentum. In the second half, Wisconsin was without their team leader on the defense in Chris Orr, and Ohio State started clicking on offense. I think Wisconsin was fine at the start of the half, but once Anthony Lotti dropped that punt all bets were off. That completely altered the psyche of the team it appeared. After the defense held on the quick change, Wisconsin missed a 48 yard field after a solid drive was hampered by the holding call. The game in my mind was seemingly over at that point, even though the Badgers held a four point lead, because the stage was set for OSU to breakout.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 07 Big Ten Championship Game

Ryan: Ohio State came into the game complacent and overlooked Wisconsin and what they were capable of. At halftime, Ryan Day must have lit enough of a fire under them to knock them out of their funk and once that happened, it was curtains.