Wisconsin vs. Oregon 2012 Rose Bowl Picks: The Wisconsin Badgers, Champions of the Big Ten Conference, head to the Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, Calif., January 2, 2012 for the second consecutive season and will face the Oregon Ducks, champions of the Pac-12. The Ducks are College Football Odds favorites in the game by -5 points at most sports shops with a combined score total (over/under) of 72 points. ESPN will televise the game starting at 5:10 pm ET.
Wisconsin finished the regular season 11-2 overall, 6-2 in Big Ten action, and captured its 13th Big Ten title and second in a row, defeating Michigan State, 42-39, in the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game. During the season, the Badgers claimed victory over three ranked schools, then – No. 8 Nebraska, No. 11 Michigan State and No. 20 Penn State.
In winning the inaugural Pac-12 Championship, Oregon became only the second team in conference history to win three consecutive outright titles since the league expanded to ten teams in 1978. The Ducks, who are the only team in the country playing in a third straight BCS bowl game, finished 11-2 on the season and 8-1 in conference action. Oregon is 1-4 all-time in the Rose Bowl Game, having dropped its last four appearances – most recently in 2010 to Ohio State, 26-17. In fact, Oregon is 0-3 against Big Ten teams in the Rose Bowl Game.
The Badgers’ offense is first in the Big Ten in scoring (44.6), rushing (237.4) and total yards (466.9), and fourth in passing (229.5). UW’s scoring offense is also fourth in the country and the sixth-best average in conference history. What has made the Badgers’ offense so impressive this year is how they have won against the teams they have defeated.
Oregon’s defense ranks fourth in the Pac-12 in scoring (23.6), and fifth in rushing (137.5), passing (243.5) and total yards allowed (381.0). The Ducks will face a Badger offense that is a lot like Oregon’s offense – a quick-hitting, point-scoring unit. Wisconsin has had 33 scoring drives that have lasted two minutes or less and have 71 plays of longer than 20 yards. But the Ducks’ defense is one of the Pac-12’s best when it comes to pressuring the pocket and forcing turnovers.
Oregon’s offense ranks third in the country in scoring (46.2), fifth in rushing (295.7) and sixth in total yards (515.2), but rated just 10th-best in the Pac-12 in passing (219.5). Clearly the offense is centered around running back LaMichael James, who tops the country with 149.6 rushing yards per game. The school’s all-time rushing leader enters the Rose Bowl with 1,646 yards on the season and needs just 77 to reach 5,000 yards for his career.
Rose Bowl Prediction: Offense gets the most attention, but defense wins big games. Both Wisconsin and Oregon play great defense and today will be no exception: My Pick – UNDER 72.
College Football Picks Bowl Record – 12 wins 11 losses 0 push.
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