Rose Bowl Preview: 1 major edge on TCU held by UW

first_imgThere’s not a whole lot left to be said about this game.The prestige of the Rose Bowl has been examined, the matchups have been analyzed, and we’ve given Texas Christian its due respect.We’ve established in the past two weeks that Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema looks to have set the UW program up for continued success and that this season’s success hinges on not just getting to Pasadena, but coming away with a victory.TCU’s defense is No. 1 in the nation, both in scoring and yardage. The Horned Frogs have a standout quarterback and put up as many points this season as the Badgers did (520). They even rushed for more yards than the vaunted UW running game.Still, there’s one stat Wisconsin beat TCU handily in this season, though it’s hard to quantify. I can’t speak for Texas Christian’s fans; I can only make an educated assessment. But there is one area the Badgers dominated the Horned Frogs in, and in my eyes, it’s not even close. It’s not even up for debate.Yeah, I’ll feed you, baby birds.Badger fans, what are you going to remember about this season?I’ll give you a moment to think about it.Like Pringles, once you pop, the fun don’t stop.It’s hard to pick out one defining moment for this Wisconsin team. Beating No. 1 Ohio State comes to mind. Even then, what was better, David Gilreath’s opening kickoff return for a touchdown or storming the field after the game?You can argue the road win the following week against an Iowa team that wasn’t yet deflated was gutsier and more impressive. That last scoring drive was one for the ages – a fake punt to preserve the game? Montee Ball’s it-looks-better-in-slow-motion touchdown run? Classics.But they wouldn’t have mattered if J.J. Watt doesn’t get that shoestring sack of Ricky Stanzi on the Hawkeye’s comeback bid. Hell, you can point to Watt’s blocked PAT as the biggest play of the game.Bielema exorcised every demon he had left this season – beating OSU, getting signature wins, winning against a ranked team on the road, winning at the Big House, and maybe most importantly, not dropping a game to a lesser team. And if you try to rank those memories, you’re more likely to come up with a 1A, 1B and 1C than a top-three.Meanwhile, TCU had an undefeated season – for the second year in a row. Ho hum. That Utah game turned out to be a wash. The only close game the Horned Frogs won by less than a touchdown was one they’d like to forget, allowing San Diego State to mount a second-half comeback upset bid.Everything TCU did this season was a building block for something else. While the Horned Frogs would love to be playing for a national title, a BCS win over Wisconsin would still legitimize the season. But it’s clear a TCU fan’s memories of the 2010 season hinge on a Rose Bowl win.If at any point Wisconsin had stumbled after Oct. 16, there was still that OSU win to relish. Don’t underestimate the weight beating the No. 1 team in the nation at home has in one’s memory. My roommate’s father could still talk your ear off about Wisconsin’s upset of No. 1 Michigan in 1981.Had TCU lost a game, the season was over. Look at Boise State – the Broncos lost to a ranked team on the road and had to settle for an appearance in the Las Vegas Bowl. What would there have been to remember had SDSU completed the comeback, or had Utah proven to be a legitimate top-10 team? Probably just regret.I don’t mean this as an insult to TCU fans; like I said, I can’t speak for you. I imagine though, if I were in your shoes, there wouldn’t have been a lot to look back on this season had the Horned Frogs stumbled. When you outmatch your competition the whole season, what’s the defining moment? It probably won’t come until Jan. 1, regardless of who wins the Rose Bowl.So I’ll issue a plea I issued back before the Badgers taught the Buckeyes how to Bucky: Savor the moment. That’s for both TCU and UW fans. If you’re in Pasadena, take in the mountains in the distance and the warm weather and the fact your team is in the Rose Bowl and you got to see it. Otherwise, just enjoy the fact you got to watch one on TV in your lifetime. My Gopher fan-father has only been around for one Minnesota Rose Bowl; he was less than a month old at the time.And even if TCU is the victor, Badger Nation, remember this: The Rose Bowl was just one of many good memories from a remarkable season. The Horned Frogs could be hard-pressed to say the same.Adam is a senior majoring in journalism that doesn’t mean to insult TCU fans; if you have a favorite Horned Frogs moment from 2010, share it with him at aholt@badgerherald.com or tweet @AdamJSHolt.last_img

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