The 99th Rose Bowl Game, played Jan. 1 in Pasadena, California, hosts a Wisconsin Badgers team temporarily headed up by former head coach and current athletic director Barry Alvarez (Bret Bielema elected to depart for greener SEC pastures at the University of Arkansas three days after UW blew out Nebraska 70-31 in the Big Ten Championship) and a Stanford Cardinal squad making its third-straight appearance in a BCS bowl game since 2011.
Tickets to the first BCS game of 2013 are currently averaging $266 a ticket, with the get-in price currently sitting at $97.
Such figures represent a 18% percent increase over last year’s meeting between Wisconsin and the University of Oregon, but rest a full 26% below 2011’s contest between the Badgers and TCU, which saw the median price of admission reach $364 a head.
Rose Bowl tickets prices have declined nearly 14% over the last week or so, and may continue to suffer a downward trend, this as a result of the inability of an undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes football program to represent the Big Ten Conference in post-season play due to NCAA sanctions.
The departure of Bielema in early December certainly provided Wisconsin a significant blow to its confidence heading into this year’s college football post-season, but was countered by the decision to have Alvarez – the winningest coach in school history – head up a squad that finished the regular season unranked with an 8-5 record, yet a Big Ten title, thanks in no small part to Ohio State and Penn State being prevented from playing for a conference championship.
Leading the Badgers on offense is senior tailback Montee Ball, who will leave the 2013 Rose Bowl the all-time FBS leader in rushing touchdowns (76) and total touchdowns (82).
Facing off against Ball, however, will be a Stanford Cardinal defensive unit ranked among the best in college football, 14th overall (338.9 yard and 17.5 yards a contest) and third best in the country against the run (87.7 yards a game).
Offensively, Stanford hosts a bruising running attack of its own, headed up by Stepfan Taylor, a senior who totaled 1,442 yards and 12 touchdowns on 302 carries during the Cardinal’s 13-game regular season – a schedule which saw head coach David Shaw’s finish with five consecutive wins over ranked teams, including then-No. 2 Oregon, and eventually yielded a Pac-12 Conference title.
Neither team has done much through the air during the 2012 season, with Stanford ranked 94th in the country through the air (203.5 yards per game), while Wisconsin, who ended up with senior quarterback Curt Phillips as a quarterback thanks to an broken collarbone suffered by freshman Joel Stave on Oct. 27, has averaged a paltry 162.6 yards passing per contest (115th in the nation).
Freshman Kevin Hogan could prove a difference maker under center for the Cardinal, however, throwing for eight touchdowns and just three interceptions and running for an additional 193 yards since taking over for Josh Nunes Nov. 3 against Colorado.