For the first time since the 2012 season, the Wisconsin Badgers are heading to the Rose Bowl.
It was announced Sunday afternoon that the Tournament of Roses Committee had chosen coach Paul Chryst’s club over fellow Big Ten member Penn State.
The No. 8 Badgers finished ahead of the No. 10 Nittany Lions in the final College Football Playoff rankings, though that didn’t necessarily clinch the bid. But at 10-3, Big Ten West champs and with top-25 wins over Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa and Michigan State, Wisconsin was able to overcome two losses to the unbeaten Buckeyes and trip up at Illinois.
All of that means that the Badgers are going back to Pasadena for a 10th time in school history where it will face No. 6 Oregon.
— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) December 8, 2019
The Ducks upset Utah in the Pac-12 title game Friday night to earn their trip to Southern California. It was their 12th conference title overall but first since 2014. That year they played and beat Florida State in the Rose Bowl, which served as one of the two CFP semifinal games. Oregon will enter the game 11-2 with its only losses coming to Auburn in the season opener and an upset at Arizona State in late November.
Though the headliner for the Ducks is quarterback Justin Herbert, it’s the defense that has led the way. They rank No. 9 in the country in scoring at 15.7 points allowed per game, one spot ahead of Wisconsin (16.1 points per game). It’s a group that is better against the run (No. 10) than the pass (No. 58), but they’ve picked off 19 passes — the second-best mark in the nation.
Herbert is no slouch, though. He’s expected to be a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and he’s help Oregon average 35.9 points per game, which ranks 15th in the country. The senior has thrown 32 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
This will be the second Rose Bowl matchup between the two schools. They also played following the 2011 season in a track meet that saw the Ducks outlast the Russell Wilson-led Badgers 45-38. Overall, Wisconsin leads the all-time series with Oregon 3-2.
Wisconsin has actually lost its last three trips out west, falling to TCU (2011), Oregon (2012) and Stanford (2013).