The Rose Bowl is a favorite holiday tradition and one of the biggest attractions of the year in Los Angeles. The 2013 “Granddaddy of them all” pits two storied programs against one another as Pac-12 champion Stanford (11-2) battles Big 10 champ Wisconsin (8-5). Stanford is favored in the matchup, but underdog Wisconsin will arrive in Pasadena for the third year in a row looking for their first Rose Bowl victory since beating Stanford in 2000.
Pac-12 Rivals USC or Oregon were the early picks to play in the Rose Bowl—certainly not Stanford whose season has been nothing less than sensational. Stanford’s only two losses were by a combined total of 10 points, first against Washington and the second arrived in overtime to No. 1 Notre Dame who plays No. 2 Alabama in the BCS National Championship. Led by Freshman Quarterback, Kevin Hogan and star running back Stepfan Taylor, leading the team with over 1400 rushing yards, Stanford has not lost since October. Stanford dominated its Pac 12 schedule culminating with back to back wins against upstart UCLA.
The Badgers enter as the only five-loss team to ever play in a Rose Bowl. Wisconsin’s Rose Bowl appearance is made even sweeter by the many setbacks facing the team in 2012, including the pre-season assault to All-American rusher and Heisman hopeful Montee Ball, the firing of their offensive line coach after Week 2 of the season, and the quarterback position switching hands three times. It was recently announcement that head coach Bret Bielema accepted the Arkansas head coaching job. Former Wisconsin head coach and current athletic director Barry Alvarez will coach the team, which thumped Nebraska in the Big Ten Championship 70-31.
Prediction: Stanford 34–Wisconsin 20
Tickets: LosAngeles.com has a great selection of Rose Bowl Tickets
Where to party with Stanford Fans: Eden-Blok hosts a Stanford New Year’s Eve VIP Party, which includes a premium open bar, multiple dance floors and KDAY’s DJ Prophet spinning house music.
Sports Bars near Rose Bowl: Barney’s Beanery, Yard House, Kings Road Gastropub
Elliot Steingart is a writer/comedian who tweets @elliotsteingart. His blog “Some Reservations” is featured weekly on the Jewish Journal.