The New Year’s Tradition Continues as Oregon and Wisconsin face off in the Rose Bowl

LOS ANGELES – NCAA.COM – As tradition goes, the new year will begin with one of the greatest college sports traditions of all time — the Rose Bowl. In 2020 that tradition will continue when Oregon and Wisconsin descend on Pasadena, California to participate in the 2020 Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. 

Both No. 6 Oregon and No. 8 Wisconsin will try to wrap up their seasons with a Rose Bowl victory as it will be a battle between the Pac-12 champion and the Big Ten runner-up. 

The Ducks and the Badgers both were on the outside looking in of the College Football Playoff towards the end of the season but a 10-3 record for Wisconsin and an 11-2 record for Oregon kept them just outside of college football’s ultimate prize. 

Rose Bowl: Time & how to watch 

The Rose Bowl between Oregon and Wisconsin will begin at 5 p.m. on Jan. 1. It will be aired on ESPN and can be streamed on ESPN’s streaming platforms. 

Rose Bowl: Prediction, Preview 

On paper, both Oregon and Wisconsin look pretty evenly matched. The Ducks have scored an average of about 36 points per game this season, holding their opponents to about 16 points per game. The Badgers clock in around the same area, scoring about 35 points per game with their defense only allowing 16. 

Both teams also feature a preseason Heisman candidate. Oregon is led by Justin Herbert, who passed for 3,333 yards, 32 touchdowns (11th in FBS) and only had five interceptions on the year. Wisconsin has a beast of their own in Jonathan Taylor who has 21 rushing touchdowns (tied for 3rd in FBS) and a whopping 1,909 yards (2nd most in FBS). 

SCOREBOARD: Live scores, stats for every bowl game

With this Rose Bowl featuring the traditional matchup up of a top-finisher out of the Pac-12 versus a top-finisher out of the Big Ten, it will be a battle between offense and defense as a high-flying Pac-12 team faces a hard-nosed, grind-it-out Big Ten team. 

Wisconsin lives and dies by their defense — something college football fans saw all season. Kicking off their 2019 campaign with two shutouts, versus South Florida and Central Michigan, the Badgers went on to start the season 6-0 only allowing opponents to score a combined 29 points during that stretch. 

It looked like Wisconsin was a potential mid-season darling to sneak into the College Football Playoff but then came the next two games. A 24-23 upset by Illinois rattled the make-up of the Big Ten and the confidence Bucky had built in the first six games. The Badgers went on to get blown out by now-No. 2 Ohio State the following week 38-7. 

On the other side of this matchup is Oregon, a team that did not have as good as a start to the season. The Ducks lost a tough battle against Auburn in their season opener 27-21. They then went on to win nine-straight before losing to Arizona State late in the season — a loss that deflated all hopes of making it to the College Football Playoff. 

BOWL SEASON: Complete times and TV channels for every bowl game

Now both teams will have a chance to rectify those losses in the “granddaddy of them all.” Wisconsin will predictably work through its offensive line and running back Jonathan Taylor, hoping to win the battle in the trenches, as Oregon will look to versatile quarterback Justin Herbert. 

Outside of Herbert, the Ducks also have a dangerous running back in C.J. Verdell. Verdell has 1,171 yards and eight touchdowns on the season.

Wisconsin will look to their three-headed monster in Chris Orr, Zack Baun and Jack Sanborn for reliability on defense. The three combine for 215 total tackles, 42 tackles for loss and 29.5 sacks on the season. 

Follow along here for live scoring, stats and updates.

Although Oregon and their second-year head coach Mario Cristobal are Pac-12 champs, Wisconsin has two things that are massively important when it comes to bowl season — defense and experience. The Badgers boast the eighth-best total defense in the FBS and are currently on a four-game bowl win streak. 

The game between Bucky and Ducks will be close, but gritty defense will be what puts Wisconsin over the edge this coming New Year’s Day. 

The PickWisconsin 38,
Oregon 30