2011 Rose Bowl: Dalton, Carder Lead TCU To 21-19 Win Over Wisconsin

No. 3 TCU won its first BCS bowl, and finished its season 13-0.

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2011 Rose Bowl, TCU Vs. Wisconsin: Game Recap

Pasadena, CA (Sports Network) - Andy Dalton finished 15-of-23 for 217 yards and one touchdown as No. 3 TCU needed a late defensive stop to emerge with a 21-19 win over No. 4 Wisconsin at the Rose Bowl. Dalton also added 27 yards and a score on nine rushes for the Horned Frogs (13-0), who once again made their case to be worthy of consideration for a BCS championship with their 27th win in their last 28 games.

Bart Johnson had a 23-yard TD reception and Luke Shivers' one-yard touchdown run proved to be the difference for TCU, which posted its first undefeated campaign since going 11-0 in 1938. Scott Tolzien was 12-of-21 for 160 yards for the Badgers (11-2), who shared the Big Ten title with Ohio State and Michigan State but ended the year by having their seven-gam win streak snapped.

Montee Ball ran for 126 yards and one touchdown on 21 carries and John Clay added 76 yards and a score on 11 totes for Wisconsin, which finished with double-digit wins for the fourth time in six seasons.

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2011 Rose Bowl Game: TCU Holds Off Wisconsin, 21-19

One year after ending an undefeated regular season with a loss in a BCS bowl game, the TCU Horned Frogs finished the job today, winning the 2011 Rose Bowl, 21-19 over the Wisconsin Badgers. The win completed TCU's first undefeated season since 1938, when the 11-0 Horned Frogs won the national championship after winning the Sugar Bowl. Linebacker Tank Carder knocked down a pass from Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien on a two-point conversion attempt with 2:46 remaining that would have tied the game.

Horned Frogs quarterback Andy Dalton won offensive player of the game, accounting for a large percentage of TCU's offense. He completed 15 of 23 passes for 217 yards and one touchdown, and ran for 27 yards and a touchdown as well. Carder also had a crushing sack of Tolzien in the third quarter, and won defensive player of the game. TCU was 12-0 last year heading into the Fiesta Bowl, but lost to Boise St, 17-10.

Wisconsin running back Montee Ball began the game with a 40-yard run on the first play from scrimmage, and finished with 126 yards on 21 carries. The Badgers outgained the Horned Frogs, 386 yards to 302, but the difference in the game came on third down. TCU converted six of 10 third-down opportunities, while Wisconsin was successful just six of 15 times. A few of those conversions came on Wisconsin's final drive, which brought Wisconsin to within 21-19 and a chance to tie, which was denied by Carder and TCU.

The Horned Frogs became the first school from a non-automatic qualifying conference to win the Rose Bowl in the BCS era. It was the first appearance by TCU in the Granddaddy of them all. The Big Ten conference lost all five bowl games played today.

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2011 Rose Bowl, Wisconsin Vs. TCU: Horned Frogs Capitalize On Strong Third Quarter, Lead 21-13

Just as the Wisconsin Badgers dominated the ball in the second quarter, the TCU Horned Frogs did the same in the third quarter of the 2011 Rose Bowl. However, the difference is that TCU has been able to convert touchdowns instead of field goals, and after three quarters lead the Badgers 21-13 in Pasadena. Quarterback Andy Dalton of TCU was held to just six yards in the second quarter, but passed for 75 yards in the third quarter.

Dalton led a six-play, 71-yard drive to open the third quarter, culminating in a one-yard touchdown run by Luke Shivers. After holding the ball for just 1:25 of the second quarter, the Horned Frogs held the ball for 7:54 in the third quarter, and they outgained Wisconsin 134-60 in the third quarter. For the game, Dalton has completed 11 of 16 passes for 183 yards, with one touchdown.

Montee Ball has had a very good game for the Badgers, rushing for 118 yards on 18 carries, but Wisconsin has just one touchdown and two field goals to their credit though 45 minutes of play. The big difference in the game has come on third down conversions. TCU has converted four of six third downs today, while Wisconsin has convereted just three of 11 so far. Linebacker TCU Tank Carder has introduced himself to a national audience today, with a couple of huge hits, including a crushing sack of Scott Tolzien to end a Wisconsin drive in the third quarter.

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2011 Rose Bowl Game: Wisconsin Dominates Second Quarter, But TCU Still Leads At Halftime, 14-13

After a high-scoring opening quarter to the 2011 Rose Bowl, the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs and No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers settled down for a more subdued second stanza. TCU took a 14-13 lead into halftime, after a first half highlighted by big plays. Quarterbacks Andy Dalton and Scott Tolzien are both having good games so far leading their squads, but the second quarter was highlighted by the two punters.

The punter for the Horned Frogs, Anson Kelton, gets a mention because (a) he is rarely used; and (b) he is a huge man. The 280-lb. Kelton had but one punt in the first half, and it was a 52-yarder. Wisconsin's punter, Brad Nortman, didn't even kick the ball in the first half, but he still had a huge impact. On a 4th-and-9 play from their own 33 yard line, Wisconsin called for a fake punt, and on what may have been the slowest-developing play in college football history, Nortman rumbled for 11 yards, keeping the drive alive.

Wisconsin held the ball on that drive for the final 7:04 of the half, and a 37-yard field goal by Philip Welch cut the TCU lead to 14-13 as time expired in the first half. Wisconsin outgained TCU 234 yards to 139 in the first half, but also had a missed field goal from Welch, a 39-yard attempt in the second quarter. Montee Ball had 95 yards rushing on 12 carries for the Badgers in the first half.

Tolzien completed eight of 12 passes for 107 yards in the first half, although he took a couple of big hits in the pocket, including one sack. Dalton threw for 108 yards in the first half, and ran for 30 more, although all but six of his 138 total yards came in the first quarter. TCU held the ball for just 1:25 of the second quarter, so their defense is likely tired. The Horned Frogs will receive the ball to start the third quarter.

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2011 Rose Bowl Game, Wisconsin Vs. TCU: Big Plays, Andy Dalton Dominate First Quarter

The 2011 Rose Bowl Game (did I mention, it is presented by Vizio?) features two high-scoring teams. So far, the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs and No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers have not disappointed, as four drives have produced four scores. At the end of the first quarter, TCU leads Wisconsin, 14-10, in a quarter dominated by big plays by both offenses.

Quarterback Andy Dalton has been almost the entire offense so far for TCU. He has 102 yards in the air, completing five of seven passes, and also amassed 30 yards rushing on seven carries. Ed Wesley has one rush for one yard, the only other Horned Frog involved in the offense so far. Actually, Jeremy Kerley had a great, 35-yard kickoff return to setup the second scoring drive for TCU, capped by a four-yard rushing touchdown by Dalton (who else?) with 1:18 remaining in the quarter.

Wisconsin opened the game with a 40-yard run by Montee Ball, and after settling for a field goal on their opening drive, punched it into the end zone on their second drive. John Clay's one-yard touchdown run was setup beautifully by a play-action pass down the middle from Scott Tolzien to Bradie Ewing for 27 yards. There have been four plays from scrimmage of 20 yards or more, two by each team so far.

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2011 Rose Bowl Game: TCU Responds After Wisconsin Strikes First

A 23-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton down the middle of the field to Bart Johnson with 6:55 remaining in the first quarter gave the TCU Horned Frogs a 7-3 lead over the Wisconsin Badgers in the 2011 Rose Bowl. Both teams, which each average 43.3 points per game this season, scored on their opening drives. Dalton completed four of six passes for 58 yards on the drive, and ran four more times for 18 yards.

The Horned Frogs won the coin flip, during which Tournament of Roses Parade Grand Marshal Paul Deen told the players, "I'm not used to flippin' without my skillet." TCU elected to defer, and kicked off to the Badgers to start the game. Montee Ball got Wisconsin off to a wonderful start with a 40-yard run on the first play from scrimmage, which gave them a first down at the TCU 28-yard line. The Badgers continued to drive, but a dropped pass on 3rd-and-8 that would have produced a 1st-and-goal inside the five-yard line stalled the drive. Wisconsin settled for a 30-yard field goal by Philip Welch.

TCU is a three-point favorite in today's contest.

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2011 Rose Bowl Game: Wisconsin Looks To Avoid Total New Years Day Massacre For Big Ten

The 2011 Rose Bowl is about to kickoff, and I am still having a hard time getting over that the game is televised on ESPN instead of ABC. But, as the No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers get ready to battle the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs, the Badgers are left to salvage what has been an awful day so far for the Big Ten conference. The Rose Bowl is the fifth of five New Years Day bowls for the Big Ten, and the conference lost its previous four January 1 contests.

TicketCity Bowl: Texas Tech 45, Northwestern 38

The Wildcats made a valiant comeback effort, but ultimately fell short in a game played at the Cotton Bowl that wasn't the Cotton Bowl.

Gator Bowl: Mississippi St 52, Michigan 14

The Wolverines were taken to the woodshed in what may have been coach Rich Rodriguez's final game. Jim Harbaugh, Ann Arbor turns its lonely eyes to you, woo woo woo.

Capital One Bowl: Alabama 49, Michigan State 7

The Spartans were crushed by the Crimson Tide, in a game that frankly didn't seem that close. Oh yeah, the Spartans were co-champions of the Big Ten. Yikes.

Outback Bowl: Florida 37, Penn St 24

This game was actually a close game throughout, but a slew of interceptions by Matthew McGloin of Penn St sealed their fate.

So, that's four games, four losses by a combined score of 183-83 for the Big Ten today. Wisconsin, a three-point underdog to TCU, has its work cut out if it is to avoid an 0-5 day for the Big Ten conference.

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2011 Rose Bowl, Wisconsin Vs. TCU: Expect A Close Game In Pasadena

The 2011 Rose Bowl Game (presented by Vizio, remember) is upon us. The No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs and No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers will do battle in Pasadena in the game of the day. As we noted yesterday, both offenses have scored the same amount of points this season, but TCU's defense has been the best in the country, and for that reason is a three-point favorite over the Badgers, per our friends at Odds Shark.

Adam Hoge from the SB Nation Wisconsin Badgers blog Bucky's Fifth Quarter analyzed the game, and not surprisingly, picked Wisconsin to win the game. It's hard to go against an offense that has scored 201 points in their last three games, and as Hoge says, "The point is, TCU's defense is not unstoppable. The Badger offense might be."

Jeremy Mauss of Mountain West Connection concedes that Wisconsin's massive offensive line is a big advantage for the Badgers, but has a plan for TCU to get around, literally, the Badger offensive line:

A way for TCU to combat the size is to  obviously use speed to beat the Wisconsin tackles off the edge and if that is successful enough and the tackles have to guard against defensive ends like Tank Carder coming off the edge then that could make Wisconsin more vulnerable to linebackers running up the middle to run blitz or go after quarterback Scott Tolzin. The trenches will be the biggest key to see who wins this game.

Both Hoge and Mauss identified TCU wide receiver and return man Jeremy Kerley as a key to the game, as he is the greatest big play threat in the game. Wisconsin has allowed three return touchdowns this season, while Kerley is averaging 28 yards per kick return and nearly 13 yards per punt return this season.

Perhaps another reason for TCU being a three-point favorite is their cool helmet, which was tweeted by TCU student Spencer Jackson yesterday:

Tcu_helmet_medium

The 2011 Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio kicks off at 2 p.m. PST.

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Rose Bowl, Wisconsin Vs. TCU: The Sideline Chess Match

SB Nation's Wisconsin community, Bucky's 5th Quarter, thinks the 2011 Rose Bowl will be played out most entertainingly on the sidelines:

[The] best matchup of the game involves two opposing coordinators. Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst and TCU defensive coordinator Dick Bumpas currently lead two of the best squads in the nation, and their talents will be on full display on New Years Day.

Predictably, however, neither man wants to draw extra attention to themselves. "Not minimizing what coaches do, but I think in the end it still is what happens between the lines," Chryst said. "There's always a chess match. I have a tremendous amount of respect for what they do defensively and you want to be on. This is our chosen profession and you want to be the best you can be at it. But the reason you want to do that is you want to give your players the chance to go play the game and to have success."

The 2011 Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio kicks off at 2 p.m. PST.

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2011 Rose Bowl, TCU Vs. Wisconsin: By The Numbers

The 2011 Rose Bowl figures to be one of the best of all the bowl games, which is understandable since the game is only one of two (along with the national championship game) bowl games featuring two teams ranked in the BCS top five. The No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs and No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers are two of the top offenses in the nation, but this game might be decided on the defensive end. Here is a look at the Rose Bowl matchup, by the numbers:

Record: TCU (12-0, 8-0 in Mountain West), Wisconsin (11-1, 7-1 in Big Ten)

Strength of Schedule: Wisconsin 71st; TCU 80th per Sagarin ratings

Points scored per game: Both tied for 4th in nation, Wisconsin and TCU (43.3 points per game)

Total yards per game: TCU (491.5, 9th); Wisconsin (450.2, 17th)

Rushing yards per game: TCU (261.2, 8th); Wisconsin (247.3, 12th)

Points allowed per game: TCU (11.4, 1st); Wisconsin (20.5, t-29th)

Total yards allowed per game: TCU (215.4, 1st); Wisconsin (323.5, 22nd)

Passing yards allowed per game: TCU (126.3, 1st); Wisconsin (191.8, 26th)

Rushing yards allowed per game: TCU (89.2, 3rd); Wisconsin (131.7, t-30th)

Both teams rely on a strong rushing attack, but TCU's defense has been shutting down opponents all year long. It might be easy to discount their accomplishments because they play in the Mountain West, but that argument doesn't hold water when both teams had poor schedule strengths. Expect a great matchup against two high-powered teams on Saturday in Pasadena.

The 2010 Rose Bowl kicks off at 5 p.m. EST, Thursday, Dec. 30. The game will be televised on ESPN. For a complete list of bowls, browse SB Nation's 2010 college football postseason schedule.

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2011 Rose Bowl Game: Wisconsin Has History In Pasadena

The 2011 Rose Bowl game is nearly upon us, and today we take a look at the Wisconsin Badgers. The No. 5 Badgers are 11-1, and finished in a three-way tie with Ohio St and Michigan St atop the Big Ten at 7-1 in conference. Wisconsin was awarded the Rose Bowl bid by virtue of having the highest BCS ranking of the three Big Ten teams. This is the seventh Rose Bowl for the Badgers, and first since 2000:

Wisconsin Rose Bowl History
Year   Rose Bowl
2000   Wisconsin 17, Stanford 9
1999   Wisconsin 38, UCLA 31
1994   Wisconsin 21, UCLA 16
1963   USC 42, Wisconsin 37
1960   Washington 44, Wisconsin 8
1953   USC 7, Wisconsin 0

Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema had a tough act to follow, replacing the legendary Barry Alvarez, who is now the school's athletic director. Alvarez became head coach of the Badgers in 1990, when their bowl history consisted of just one win in six tries. Alvarez guided the Badgers to 11 bowls in his 16 seasons, winning eight, including three Rose Bowls.

Bielema has held his own quite nicely, with a 49-15 record in five seasons, and has guided Wisconsin to three of the seven 10-win seasons in school history. Bielema's Badgers have gone to five bowls in his five seasons in Madison, and won two. The only two Big Ten schools to play in more Rose Bowls than Wisconsin are Michigan (20) and Ohio St (14).

The 2010 Rose Bowl kicks off at 5 p.m. EST, Thursday, Dec. 30. The game will be televised on ESPN. For a complete list of bowls, browse SB Nation's 2010 college football postseason schedule.

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2011 Rose Bowl Game: Time, Location, History And More

To help prime you for the first BCS bowl game of the college football postseason, we've compiled this handy list of fun factoids concerning the 2011 Rose Bowl.

Proper name: Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio, or "The Granddaddy of Them All." Sit on the Rose Bowl's lap and it will hand you a delicious Werther's hard candy and tell you about the war.

Setting: The Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif., home of the UCLA Bruins and many species of stinging plants.

Traditional conference pairing: Big Ten versus Pac-10

2010 matchup: The No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs (12-0) again No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers (11-1)

Announcers: Top shelf all around: Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and Erin Andrews.

Neatest fact: Ohio State's not in it this year, which is nice for everybody.

Closest finish: That would be the 1922 Rose Bowl game between Washington & Jefferson and Cal, which ended in a 0-0 tie.

Most lopsided finish: There have been two 49-0 Rose Bowl finishes in game history: The very first contest, Michigan's 1902 win over Stanford, and the 1948 game, also featuring Michigan in a thumping of USC.

Tidbits of interest: The Rose Bowl is always played in the afternoon. The Rose Bowl is occasionally home to the national championship, which people seem to enjoy. Also, Paula Deen is the grand marshal of this year's Rose Parade, which is a spectacularly entertaining if nonsensical choice.

The 2010 Rose Bowl kicks off at 5 p.m. EST, Thursday, Dec. 30. The game will be televised on ESPN. For a complete list of bowls, browse SB Nation's 2010 college football postseason schedule.

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Rose Bowl 2011, Wisconsin Vs. TCU: Game Preview

Pasadena, CA (Sports Network) -- Two of the top four teams in the nation will square off in Pasadena on New Year's Day, as the TCU Horned Frogs meet the Wisconsin Badgers in the 97th Rose Bowl. Wisconsin, which logged an impressive 11-1 mark during the regular season and shared the Big Ten Conference title with Ohio State and Michigan State after posting a school-record-tying 7-1 league ledger, is making its seventh appearance in the Rose Bowl and fourth since 1994. The Badgers are 3-3 in their six previous Rose Bowl appearances, and have won their last three games in Pasadena. Wisconsin, which is 10-11 all-time in its bowl history, is appearing in its ninth straight bowl game, including all five during head coach Bret Bielema's tenure.

TCU has been a thorn in the side of the BCS for the past few years, as the Horned Frogs, under coach Gary Patterson, have run roughshod through the rest of the Mountain West Conference and challenged the big boys for inclusion in the exclusive post-season club. In fact, TCU has won two straight MWC titles after recently completing its second consecutive 12-0 regular season, and it is the first team from a non-automatic BCS qualifying conference to play in back-to-back BCS bowl games.

TCU, which has won 26 of its last 27 games overall, is 11-13-1 all-time in bowl games, which includes a 7-4 mark under Patterson. The Frogs own a 15-3 record in their last 18 games against teams from a BCS conference. The series between these two teams boasts just one previous meeting, that coming in 1970 and ending in a 14-14 tie in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin averaged 45.2 ppg in conference action this year, setting a new school record and serving as the second-best mark in Big Ten history. The Badgers are one of just five teams in the country to rank among the top 25 in both total offense and total defense. The others being Boise State, TCU, Stanford and Ohio State. The combined records of those five teams this year is an astounding 56-4.

Wisconsin uses the run about as well as any team in the nation, and the Badgers are the only FBS team to have three RBs who have gained at least 800 yards on the ground this season. James White (1,029 yards, 14 TDs), John Clay (936 yards, 13 TDs) and Montee Ball (864 yards, 17 TDs) help UW average 6.12 ypc and 247.3 ypg on the ground. All total, the UW offense has amassed 46 rushing scores this year.

Scott Tolzien has enjoyed a solid campaign under center for the Badgers as he thrown for 2,300 yards with 16 TDs and only six INTs. His .743 completion percentage ranks among the national leaders, and his favorite targets are clearly Lance Kendricks (39 receptions, 627 yards, five TDs) and Nick Toon (33 receptions, 413 yards, three TDs).

Protecting the football has been key for the Badgers, who turned it over just nine times on the year which is tied with fellow Big Ten member Iowa for the fewest in the nation. Also helping the overall cause is the fact that UW is the least penalized team in the country (2.9 per game).

Ball was asked recently about facing the best defense in the country, "We love it. It drives us every day. This is why you play football. It is going to be a great game." He continued by giving an assessment of what makes the TCU defense so good, "Speed. Hands down, speed. They have two great defensive ends that shoot up the field really well and their linebackers find the ball really well."

The Badgers have performed admirably on defense themselves this season, giving up 20.3 ppg behind average yardage outputs of 131.7 ypg rushing and 191.8 ypg passing. They have surrendered 19 passing scores, but just seven on the ground, and they have been particularly strong at the start of games, yielding a mere 3.3 points on average over the opening 15 minutes.

The Wisconsin defense doesn't feature one or two star players, but rather a collection of skilled guys who play together as a team. Blake Sorensen heads the unit with 60 tackles, and five others have at least 51 stops. J.J. Watt has team-highs in TFLs (21) and sacks (seven), while Antonio Fenelus has four of the Badgers' 14 INTs.

Like their counterpart, the Horned Frogs have a potent offense which averages 43.3 ppg on 491.5 total ypg. The TCU ground attack is as punishing as the Badgers, or anyone else's for that matter, churning out 261.2 ypg and accounting for a whopping 39 TDs. Ed Wesley has rushed for 1,065 yards and 11 TDs this season, picking up 6.6 ypc for a team that averages 5.5 ypc. Wesley is joined by three others who have at least 400 rushing yards, including QB Andy Dalton (407 yards, five TDs).

Speaking of Dalton, this is not a run-only offense as the talented signal- caller has thrown for 2,638 yards and 26 TDs, while only being picked off six times this year. A strong believer in spreading the wealth, six different players have double-digit catches, led by Jeremy Kerley with 50 grabs for 517 yards and 10 TDs. Josh Boyce is the leader in terms of receiving yards with 602, and he averages better than 18 ypr and has reached the end zone six times.

With the offense firing on all cylinders, one might think that the TCU defense could do just enough not to give the opposition free cracks at the end zone, but the exact opposite is true as the Horned Frogs are truly one of the elite defensive teams in the country. Holding seven opponents to single digits and allowing just 11.4 ppg in all, and only 215.4 total ypg, TCU is the best the FBS has to offer. Foes have scored just seven rushing TDs, and they average a mere 4.0 yards per offensive play. The Frogs give in on only 22 percent of third-down conversion attempts, and they have allowed the opposition a grand total of 16 trips to the red zone in 12 games.

Tanner Brock has been a man possessed for the TCU defense, logging 97 tackles, with a pair of sacks, two fumble recoveries and an INT, while Colin Jones and Wayne Daniels have combined for 22.5 of the team's 68 TFLs. Tejay Johnson has three picks, helping the team come up with 22 turnovers on the year.

TCU Defensive Coordinator Dick Bumpas was asked recently about the challenges his unit will face against a Wisconsin offense that batters the opposition into submission, "The things that they do schematically causes you a lot of problems, so it'll be a very interesting afternoon."

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2011 Rose Bowl, Wisconsin Vs. TCU: A History Of Undefeated Teams In Pasadena

The 2011 Rose Bowl is likely the best matchup of the bowl season, outside of the BCS National Championship Game, with the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs facing the No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers. TCU defeated New Mexico St, 66-17 in its final game, while Wisconsin dispatched Northwestern, 70-23 in its last outing. The last Rose Bowl that featured one team coming off a 70-point game facing a team coming off a 66-point game was 2006, which just happened to be one of the greatest games in college football history, Texas vs. USC.

That 2006 Rose Bowl also happened to be the last Rose Bowl featuring an undefeated team. Both the Trojans and Longhorns were undefeated, playing in what that year was the BCS title game. TCU is 12-0 this season, the ninth undefeated team in the Rose Bowl in the last 30 years. Here is a look back to previous Rose Bowls featuring undefeated teams in the last 30 years:

  • 2006: Texas (12-0) 41, USC (12-0) 38
  • 2002: Miami (11-0) 37, Nebraska 14
  • 1998: Michigan (11-0) 21, Washington St 16
  • 1997: Ohio St 20, Arizona St (11-0) 17
  • 1995: Penn St (11-0) 38, Oregon 20
  • 1993: Michigan (8-0-3) 38, Washington 31
  • 1992: Washington (11-0) 34, Washington 14

Undefeated teams are 6-2 in the last 30 Rose Bowls, and one of those undefeated teams to lose (USC, in 2006) lost to another undefeated team. This is TCU's first trip to the Rose Bowl in school history. The Badgers are making their seventh appearance, having split their first six Rose Bowls, though they have won their last three.

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2011 Rose Bowl, Wisconsin Vs. TCU: The Grandaddy Of Them All Returns To Pasadena

The Granddaddy of Them All is nearly upon us, gentle Internet! The 2011 Rose Bowl is just over a week away, and though the stadium of the same name is not the host of this year's national championship game, the matchup will be one of the most competitive you'll see in a major bowl setting.

The No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs, you know. The last squad standing of a merry band of mid-majors gunning for undefeated glory, the Frogs surmounted No. 24 Oregon State and No. 5 TCU en route to a perfect 12-0 season, and were only seriously challenged by the Beavers in Week 1 and San Diego State in late November.

The No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers "won" the Big Ten, but you'd never know if from the amount of national media attention they've garnered. Perhaps it helps to be Ohio State, whom the Badgers beat 31-18. Also vanquished was No. 15 Iowa, the week after. Their one stumble was a 10-point loss to Michigan State the first week of October.

The 2011 Rose Bowl Game Presented By Vizio kicks off at 5 p.m. EST on Saturday, Jan. 1. The game will be televised on ESPN. Stay tuned to this StoryStream right up through game time, as we review key unit matchups, odds, bowl history and more.

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