Rose Bowl Preview: Wisconsin, TCU Present the Season's Largest Contrast

Rose Bowl presented by Vizio, January 1, 5:00 p.m. ET, ESPN

What it is: The grandaddy of them all begrudgingly fulfilling its obligation to take a non-AQ team once in the four-year period beginning with 2010.

The teams: Wisconsin and TCU

How Wisconsin got here: Wisconsin's 2010 season is somewhat reminiscent of Florida's 2008 season. The Badgers won their first four games over nobodies before taking their first loss. After that, they largely rampaged through the schedule, occasionally throwing up huge point totals. It's not a direct parallel, as '10 Michigan State is better than '08 Ole Miss, and Wisconsin did have a couple close scrapes after the loss to the Spartans. However, Bret Bielema was not shy about putting points on the board, as his team scored 70 twice and 83 against Indiana. Plus, he went for two up big against Minnesota because his play card told him to. Wisconsin got the job done exactly how you'd expect it to, with an efficient passer and three running backs who rushed for more than 800 yards apiece.

How TCU got here: TCU was preseason top-five, ranked ahead of both undefeated teams in the national title game. The Horned Frogs were done in by their non-AQ status and Oregon State's mediocre year as not even a long string of blowout wins could allow them to play for it all. Their defense was ferocious as always and perhaps more than ever as they were first in total and scoring defense by comfortable margins. That's not to say the team wasn't balanced, as the Andy Daulton-led offense topped 40 points eight times and rang up more than 60 twice.

College football fans care because: These are two really good teams and the second-most compelling BCS matchup.

SEC fans care because: They love and appreciate good football, and there will be plenty of that in this game.

Watch this game if...: You can be in front of the TV. It should be a classic contrast in styles between Wisconsin's high-scoring offense and TCU's stout defense. As a bonus, the opposites for each team were underrated and good too.

The result: TCU 36, Wisconsin 35

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