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 read more

USC wins two matches but loses to Pepperdine

first_imgOn a rare cloudy day in Malibu, the No. 4 ranked Women of Troy (17-7) shone in their first two matchups but failed in their most important test of the day. The pair of junior Abril Bustamante (left) and freshman Tina Graudina won all three of their matches on Saturday. Sunny Dong | Daily TrojanIn their first match of the Pepperdine Invitational at Zuma Beach, USC swept Saint Mary’s College (11-5) 5-0. To kick off what would be a dominant performance for the Trojans, seniors Jenna Belton and Jo Kremer outlasted Lindsey Calvin and Kelsey Knudsen in two sets, 21-12, 21-12 on court 4. The Trojans’ next point was earned when senior Terese Cannon and freshman Sammy Slater downed Emily Bible and Lindsey Knudsen, 21-12, 21-16 on court 2. USC was able to swiftly clinch the dual from court 5 with a 21-16, 21-12 win by junior Katrina Kernochan and senior Alexandra Poletto. The victory marked USC’s fifth in a row. Although the match was already decided at that point, the top court and court 3 featured two nail-baiting three-set games. USC’s most consistent pair of junior Abril Bustamante and freshman Tina Graudina defeated Morgan Hughes and Payton Rund, 21-11, 17-21, 15-8. Sophomore Joy Dennis and freshman Haley Hallgren opened up strong with a first set win 21-9 over Saint Mary’s Sarah Chase and Mary Hernandez on court 3, but the match was forced to go into a third set when Chase and Hernandez won the second set 21-17. Dennis and Hallgren would have to battle back from a 3 point deficit in the third set, ultimately coming out on top 16-14 and completing the sweep for USC. USC similarly dominated again in their second matchup of the day; this time against the 16th ranked Loyola Marymount Lions (12-8). The Trojans were able to secure their sixth-straight win at that point behind the the first court pair of Bustamante and Graudina setting the tone by taking down the Lions’ top pair of McKayla Ferris and Savannah Slattery (21-17 , 21-13). The second domino to fall was the court 2 pair of Cannon and Slater defeating Sarah Kovac and Jessie Prichard (21-13, 21-11). USC was able to clinch the win when Katrina Kernochan and Alexandra Poletto claimed a 21-13, 21-19 win over Bozena Culo and Maddie Leiphardt at court four.With their victories on Saturday, USC remains undefeated all-time against Loyola Marymount and Saint Mary’s. In the marquee matchup of the day, the Women of Troy once again came up short against No.1 ranked Pepperdine Waves, falling to their arch-rivals 4-1. Though USC fought hard in all of the games and many of the games went down to the wire, they managed to squeeze only one point against the Waves, who have now won 16 out of their last 18 matches. The Trojans’ lone bright spot in the matchup came from the top court when reigning Pac-12 pair of the week Bustamante and Graudina earned their 16th overall win on a 21-16, 20-22, 17-15 victory over Deahna Kraft and Corinne Quiggle of Pepperdine. With the loss, USC falls to 0-3 against Pepperdine this season and the Waves now lead the all-time series 11-10. They are the only team in collegiate beach volleyball to have a winning record over the Women of Troy. The two teams will face one another again on April 10 at Merle Norman Stadium in Los Angeles. Up next for USC, the team travels to Westwood on Wednesday to take on crosstown rival No. 2 UCLA. The two Southern California powerhouses have split the season series thus far, with the Bruins defeating USC 3-2 at Merle Norman Stadium on Feb. 28 and the Women of Troy returning the favor at the Zuma Invitational 3-2 on March 3. Wednesday’s  pivotal matchup will be televised on the Pac-12 Network at 3:30 p.m.last_img read more