The Wisconsin Badgers entered last year's Rose Bowl as clear favorites over the TCU Horned Frogs. A vaunted offense found its rhythm too late in the game, however, and the Badgers left Pasadena on the wrong side of a 21-19 final score. In order to avoid a similar fate against the Oregon Ducks, the Badgers are going to have to learn from their mistakes according to running back and Heisman finalist Montee Ball.
"Honestly, I think last year's loss is something we're most definitely going to talk about," he said. "Because we were too distracted. We weren't mature enough last year. . . . We weren't able to block out the distractions.
"This year we're going to make sure we do and prepare for just another game."
Ball cited an uncharacteristic numbers of penalties, six for 41 yards, as one of the ways the Badgers let the game get away from them. According to safety Aaron Henry, his team wasn't prepared to handle the glitz and glamour of Southern California.
"Some guys had never left the state of Wisconsin, let alone going out to L.A., a beautiful venue like that," Henry said. "We were staying in Beverly Hills, walking amongst the stars, literally. ... It was a great opportunity. But I think now going out there, guys have a grasp on what to expect. . . . I think guys can truly focus on the football game now."
Also potentially diverting Wisconsin's focus are offensive coordinator Paul Chryst's dalliances with head coaching jobs around the country. He interviewed this past weekend for the head coaching position at Pittsburgh.
For more on each bowl game pairing, check out SB Nation's college football bowl game coverage. And visit our many college football blogs. For more on the Wisconsin Badgers head to Bucky's 5th Quarter, and for more on the Oregon Ducks visit Addicted To Quack.