The 2012 Rose Bowl between the No. 6 Oregon Ducks and No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers features several compelling characters. One of those is Oregon tailback LaMichael James, one of the best running backs in the history of the Pac-12 Conference. James will end up in the NFL eventually, but the only question is when?
James leads the nation in rushing, averaging 150 yards per game on the season. He ran for 1,646 yards and 17 touchdowns in 11 games for the Ducks in 2011, his third consecutive season of 1,500 or more yards rushing. James is the only running back in Pac-12 history with three different seasons of 1,500 or more yards.
James ran for 200 or more yards in four different games this season, including becoming the first Pac-12 running back with three straight 200-yard games since USC Trojans in 1981. James has run for 200 or more yards seven different times in his career.of the
He is 123 yards behind former Oregon State running back Ken Simonton for second-most rushing yards in Pac-12 history. James, a junior, might need to get those yards in the Rose Bowl alone, as speculation is that he will be turning pro and entering the 2012 NFL draft. James has said that he will wait until after the Rose Bowl to announce his decision, as he didn't want his draft status to be a distraction heading into the Rose Bowl.
James, who averaged an astonishing 7.4 yards per carry during the 2011 season, combined for just 119 yards on 28 carries, an average of 4.3 yards per carry in the Ducks' last two bowl games, both losses.
The 2012 Rose Bowl Game will be played on Monday, January 2, 2012 in Pasadena. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. PST. The game will be televised by ESPN, with Brent Musberger, Kirk Herbstreit, and Erin Andrews on the call.