The Wisconsin Badgers are the first five-loss team ever to make it to the Rose Bowl, but they will also make history when they battle the Stanford Cardinal on Jan. 1 in Pasadena. The Badgers are just the 11th team to play in at least three consecutive Rose Bowl games, and just the third Big Ten team to do so.
But Wisconsin wants to erase recent history, as their last two trips to the Rose Bowl have produced a pair of losses. In the 2011 game, the upstart TCU Horned Frogs pulled out a 21-19 win over the Badgers, and last year the Oregon Ducks beat Wisconsin 45-38 in a classic matchup. But to snap their losing streak in Pasadena, Wisconsin need only look to their opponent, as Stanford was the first school ever to play in three straight Rose Bowls.
Here is a look at the three timers club.
The Indians, as they were known back then, lost 7-0 to Columbia in 1934, then fell 29-13 to Alabama the next year. But Stanford recovered in 1936, as they beat SMU 7-0.
The Trojans pitched a pair of shutouts, beating Washington 29-0 in 1944 and Tennessee 25-0 in 1945, but USC fell in 1946 to Alabama, 34-14.
This is what Wisconsin is trying to avoid, as the Bears lost three straight trips to Pasadena. In 1949, Northwestern beat Cal 20-14 for their only Rose Bowl victory. Cal then lost 17-14 to Ohio State in 1950 and 14-6 to Michigan in 1951.
The Trojans became the first school to make it to the Rose Bowl in four straight years, as they split four with the Big Ten. After a 14-13 loss to Purdue in 1967, USC and O.J. SImpson came back to beat Indiana 14-3 to clinch a national championship the next year. The 1969 game featured No. 1 Ohio State beating the No. 2 Trojans 27-16, but USC rebounded with a 10-3 win over Michigan in 1970.
Ohio State (1973-1976)
The Buckeyes made it to four consecutive Rose Bowls, including three straight matchups with USC from 1973-1975. Ohio State lost two of the three to USC, but beat them 42-21 in 1974. In 1976, Ohio State lost to UCLA 23-10
Coach John McKay ended his tenure with the Trojans with three straight matchups against Ohio State and coaching legend Woody Hayes. USC won two of the three matchups against Ohio State, and their 1973 and 1975 victories secured national championships for the Trojans.
The Wolverines followed the Buckeyes with three straight Pasadena trips of their own, but Michigan came up short all three times. Michigan lost 14-6 to USC in 1977, 27-20 to Washington in 1978, and 17-10 to USC in 1979.
The Trojans lost to Michigan State 20-17 in 1988, then lost to Michigan 22-14 one year later. But USC rebounded for a 17-10 win over the Wolverines in 1990 in what was Bo Schembechler's final game as Michigan head coach.
The Huskies beat Iowa in 1991 and Michigan in 1992, the latter securing a national championship in the coaches poll. In the 1993 game, Michigan exacted revenge with a 38-31 win over Washington.
The Trojans rebounded from their 41-38 loss to Vince Young and Texas in the BCS title game with three straight Rose Bowl wins from 2007-2009, the only school ever to win three straight. USC beat Michigan, Illinois, and Penn State, respectively.
Montee Ball and the Badgers hope to avoid the same fate as Cal (1949-1951) and Michigan (1977-1979), as losers of three straight in Pasadena.