The inaugural Big Ten Championship Game has been played for 30 on-field minutes so far Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, and we aren't any closer to knowing which team will face the Oregon Ducks in the 2012 Rose Bowl. After a thrilling, back-and-forth first half, the Wisconsin Badgers lead the Michigan St. Spartans 29-21 at halftime.
Michigan State last played in the Rose Bowl on January 1, 1988, 24 seasons ago. Eight different Big Ten teams have played in the Rose Bowl since the last time the Spartans played in Pasadena in January.
Just like in their first matchup on October 22 in East Lansing, Wisconsin jumped out to an early 14-point lead, as the Badgers led 21-7 after the first quarter. Just like that matchup six weeks ago, the Spartans came roaring back, as quarterback Kirk Cousins spearheaded three touchdown drives in the second quarter to give Michigan State a 29-21 lead. Cousins completed 11 of 12 passes for 178 yards and two touchdown passes in the first half.
Tailback Montee Ball had 107 yards on 16 carries and a pair of touchdowns for Wisconsin in the first half. With 36 total touchdowns on the season Ball is just three scores away from tying the FBS record of 39, set by Barry Sanders of the Oklahoma St. Cowboys in 1988.
The 2012 Rose Bowl Game will be played on Monday, January 2, 2012 in Pasadena. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. PDT. The game will be televised by ESPN, with Brent Musberger, Kirk Hirbstreit, and Lisa Salters on the call. Stay tuned for more updates as the game approaches.