Normally, I am a huge Wisconsin Badger booster. I predicted back in September that Bucky would go 12-1 this season, win the (insert stupid name here) Division of the Big Ten and capture the inaugural (money grab) Conference Championship Game. I was one loss shy of getting all of that right. I also predicted a Badger victory in today's Rose Bowl game.
But this morning, I do not have a very good feeling about that prediction. I thought back in September that Wisconsin would be taking on Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal as the Pac-12 Champions. Stanford is much like the Badgers. They play a pro-set offense, like to run the ball and they aren't particularly fast at the skill positions or on defense.
Unfortunately (for Wisconsin), their actual opponent today--the Oregon Ducks--are anything but slow. They run a play ever 15 seconds on offense in a spread formation, read-option that for two decades now the Badgers have shown no ability to stop or even slow down. It is the WORST possible matchup for a Wisconsin team that struggles to make tackles in space, cover fleet wide receivers downfield and cover kickoffs and punts.
Am I throwing in the towel on Bucky today? Absolutely not! There is a way for this slow-footed bunch of Midwestern kids to actually pull out a win today--and its the same formula that unfortunately was not followed in the last Rose Bowl game--GROUND AND POUND!
As much as I like Russell Wilson, I hope he doesn't throw a single pass of more than ten yards today. If I was Wisconsin Offensive Coordinator Paul Chryst, I would make it my goal to set the Rose Bowl record for time of possession. Run the ball between the tackles every play--all day. Hopefully Montee Ball got a good night's rest because he should be looking at 40-carries today--with James White getting another 20. Six, eight minute drives that end in one-yard touchdown plunges by Montee Ball should be enough to overcome a kickoff return for a TD, a punt return for a TD and a blocked punt to set up another TD for Oregon and give the Badgers a 42-40 win over the Ducks today.
Please Bret and Paul, RUN THE BALL ALL DAY LONG!!