The Wisconsin Badgers overcame back-to-back losses to Illinois and Ohio State during the middle of the season, winning four straight games to get into the Big Ten Championship Game. The Badgers eventually fell to the Buckeyes in the Big Title game 34-21 on Saturday, but their body of work was good enough to land a spot in the Rose Bowl against Oregon (11-2), who won the Pac 10 Championship game.
The Ducks also faced some adversity before rebounding to finish strong. Oregon suffered a 31-28 loss to unranked Arizona State on Nov. 23 before beating No. 5 Utah, 37-15, in the league title game on Friday.
The Ducks finished No. 6 in the final College Football Playoff rankings released on Sunday.
The Badgers (10-3) finished number-8 in the CFP rankings and landed the Rose Bowl spot despite falling to Ohio State for the second time this season. The CFP committee decided not to penalize the Badgers for that last defeat. They may have even give the Badgers credit for giving the Buckeyes a good run for their money before falling in the second half.
The Badgers are making their 10th Rose Bowl appearance. They’ve dropped their last three (2010, 2011 and 2012). Prior to that, the Badgers had won three straight (1993, 1998 and 1999). Prior to that, the Badgers lost their first three Rose Bowls (1952, 1959 and 1962).
The 2012 Rose Bowl defeat came at the hands of the Ducks. Quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Montee Ball lost a high scoring battle
Overall, the Badgers have qualified for 18 straight bowl games, the longest current streak among Big Ten schools. They’ve won a program-record five straight bowl games.