It’s official — the Badgers are headed to the 2020 Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. This will be Wisconsin’s 10th total appearance in the Rose Bowl since its inception in 1902 and its first since 2013 when it fell to Stanford by a score of 20–14.
Football: Badgers fall flat in second half, lose to The Ohio State University in Big Ten ChampionshipThe No. 8 University of Wisconsin football team (10-3, 7-3 Big Ten) lost 34–21 against No. 1 The Ohio State Read…
It was a wild roller coaster of a regular season that led the Badgers to this point. They were upset by an over 20 point underdog in Illinois, they thumped Michigan and Minnesota and they suffered a defeating blowout loss to the Buckeyes. Yet down the stretch, the Badgers did what needed to be done in order to secure their spot in what is arguably the best non-CFP bowl game that college football has to offer.
Even after making the Big Ten championship after securing wins against Iowa and Minnesota, the Badgers still had to hope the committee did not put Penn State ahead of them in the rankings. This would most likely ensure Penn State would be preparing to face off against Oregon in Pasadena instead of the Badgers.
If the Badgers were to have been blown out against the Buckeyes, this was a significant possibility as the Badgers would end the season with three losses while Penn State would have only two — neither of which were to an unranked Illinois team. But the Badgers held tough even as they gave up their 21–7 halftime lead over the Buckeyes in their 34–21 loss.
Penn State will certainly argue their contest with The Ohio State University was a closer affair as the two teams were separated by just 11 points. Compared with the Badgers’ losses to Ohio State University by 31 and 13 points, there is an argument to be made that Penn State deserved to represent the Big Ten against the PAC 12.
Performances against Michigan and Minnesota tell the real story, though. Both Wisconsin and Penn State hosted the Wolverines earlier in their regular seasons. Wisconsin dominated Michigan 35–14 while Penn State barely snuck past by one touchdown. Penn State was even saved late in the game as a Wolverine WR dropped a potentially game-tying pass right in the middle of the end zone.
Again, both Wisconsin and Penn State traveled to Minneapolis to take on the Gophers. The Badgers walked away with a commanding win over their arch-nemesis while the Nittany Lions ran back to Happy Valley with their tails tucked between their legs. They might have won the score differential vs. Ohio State, but, ultimately, who cares? Wisconsin beat the team that Penn State couldn’t and only added a third loss to their record because they had to play what is arguably the best team in the nation.
The Badgers earned their right to play in the Big Ten Championship game against OSU. No team should be punished for making it to their respective conference championship game, especially when that game is against the No. 1 ranked team in the nation. If the committee had decided to relegate the Badgers to the Cotton Bowl or Citrus Bowl, that’s exactly what they would have done.
Wisconsin put up a hard fight against OSU. They earned their trip to the Rose Bowl and earned the chance to break their current three game losing streak in Pasadena. In fact, the last time the Badgers won the Rose Bowl was January 1, 2000. If they manage to defeat Oregon in this coming edition of the Rose Bowl, it will have been exactly a 20 year drought since they last held that title.