Rose Bowl 2012: Oregon's LaMichael James And Wisconsin's Montee Ball: Multiple Ways To Greatness

It's not too often that you can get a matchup of this magnitude at one position. But today's Rose Bowl between the Oregon Ducks and Wisconsin Badgers gets just that as arguably the top two running backs in the country - the Ducks' LaMichael James and the Badgers' Montee Ball - take the field for their respective squads.

James leads the nation in rushing yards per game at 149.6 and yards per carry (7.4). Ball is the nation's leader in total rushing yards (1,759) and is second all-time in single-season touchdowns with 38.

As told to ESPN's Brian Bennett, Ball and James recognize the differences in what they bring to the table and how the nature of their offenses and their running styles don't give a proper means of comparing the two juniors.

"What he brings to the table is speed, and I believe what I bring to the table is obviously a lot of power, strength and a little bit of speed as well," Ball said.

"You know, he's probably 215 pounds and I'm like 190," James said. "He runs in the I [formation]. I run in the spread. I don't really think there's a comparison between the two."

James will run around you and past you. Ball will run over you and through you. They stick to their strengths and the offenses they're in do a great job of exploiting those strengths.

But they did answer a question many people would love to ask: How would you do in the other back's system?

"I've thought about it a couple times, taking a lot of carries from the [shot]gun and stuff like that," Ball said. "It would be a lot of fun, obviously, getting the ball into open space."

"I know I would be successful in their offense," James said. "No. 67 [Wisconsin left tackle Josh Oglesby], I can just sit behind him all day."

Two of the best backs in the country step on the field looking for a Rose Bowl title. They might do it different ways, but as long as they do it, they'll leave their individually successful seasons with their heads held high and a trophy in their hands.

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