The 2012 Rose Bowl between the Oregon Ducks and the Wisconsin Badgers is considered by many to be among the best postseason matchups of the year, if not the best. The two teams are among the best in the country offensively, one by way of a finely-tuned spread option attack, the other via a pro-style scheme led by a dominant offensive line. It turns out the two teams have much more in common than simply putting up lots of points, however. The Ducks and Badgers have followed near identical paths to national relevance following decades of futility, as the Oregon historical blog Duck Downs points out.
Both teams went over 30 years without a Rose Bowl before hitting their stride in the mid-90's. The Badgers were the first to break their Pasadena drought with a win over the UCLA Bruins on Jan. 1, 1994, under head coach Barry Alvarez. The Ducks played the Penn State Nittany Lions in the same game exactly one year later, with Mike Bellotti serving as offensive coordinator. He would take over as Oregon's head coach the following season, and both coaches would go on to lead their teams back to BCS Bowls at the turn of the century before eventually retiring into Athletic Director roles and turning over their programs to talented coordinators.
Fittingly, Wisconsin and Oregon played a home-and-home series in 2000 and 2001, with both teams winning on their respective home fields. The two teams will face off on Jan. 2 tied 1-1 in all-time series meetings.
For more on this year's matchup be sure to head over to SB Nation's Wisconsin blog Bucky's Fifth Quarter, and Oregon blog Addicted To Quack. For more on each bowl game pairing, check out SB Nation's college football bowl game coverage.