Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 1/1/13
Another trip to Pasadena and another loss to a great team at the Rose Bowl. Stanford came into the game as one of the best-rounded teams in the country and left with a 20-14 win. To get there, the Cardinal had to fight off a tough Wisconsin Badgers team who despite five losses proved they can stick with one anyone in the country. What It Means: First and foremost, the courageous play of the Badgers along with Michigan (loss to South Carolina) and Nebraska (loss to Georgia) proved that the Big Ten was no joke this season. In what was considered by many to be a “down-year,” the Big Ten took three of the best teams in the country to the wire. From the Badgers perspective, the loss in a third-straight Rose Bowl marks the beginning to an end. It was an era in which Wisconsin won three straight conference titles, but couldn’t get to the next level. Now they turn to a new head coach in Gary Andersen and try to continue the success while winning bowl games. Player of the Game: RB Montee Ball (24 carries for 100 yards and one touchdown) What Ball did in the  first half was so important to the Badgers making it a hard-fought loss. With Stanford going up 14-0 early, Ball’s hard-nosed running slowed down the pace of game. His 87 yards in the first half was near what the Cardinal’s number one rush-defense allows opponents in entire games. Ball will go down as one of the greatest Badgers of all-time, but I don’t think he will surpass Ron Dayne because he didn’t win a Rose Bowl. Highlight of the Game: Ball’s 11 yard touchdown in the second quarter was one of beauty. What has him rising up draft charts is his vastly improved jump-cuts and vision of the field. Taking a hand-off from  quarterback Curt Phillips, Ball used a perfect jump-cut to the left and utilized a nice tight-end block to burst into the end-zone for his 83rd career score. Stat of the Game (3): The number of Rose Bowls Montee Ball has scored a touchdown in. The only player in Rose Bowl history to do so. What’s Next: It’s going to be a very interesting off-season as the Badgers shift from Bret Bielema to Andersen. Bielema always said that the 2013 team would the most talented in his tenure, so it should be a great barometer for Andersen’s coaching ability. With a top-25 team and a weak Leaders Division, no reason to think the Badgers don’t end up in a New Year’s Bowl game once again. What did you think of the Badgers loss in the Rose Bowl? Let me know by commenting below. Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He also enjoys to share Fantasy Advice and pretend to be a Golf expert from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best. If social media is not your thing, shoot him an email at grays@uwalumni.com. Pictures courtesy of ESPN.  
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The 22 most iconic college football traditions
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Patriots have no intention of trading Gronkowski

Report: A 2015 investigation led to Kevin Wilson’s departure from Indiana

Houston denies report that Art Briles is candidate for coaching position

Draymond Green defends himself again after kicking Harden

WATCH: Video of Pirates Jung Ho Kang car crash that led to arrest

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rob Gronkowski placed on IR, ending his season

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Steve Kerr admits using marijuana to treat chronic back pain

WATCH: Huskies, Buffaloes go back-to-back with amazing plays

Rolando McClain suspended indefinitely by NFL

Helfrich, Kelly spoke about possibility of Kelly returning to Oregon

Best of Yardbarker: CFB Championship Week chaos

Five teams on upset alert in NFL Week 13

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 12/2: High-kicking it into the weekend

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Eugene Monroe opens up about NFL’s drug policy

Ideal MLB offseason blueprint for every team

Eight NFL teams facing must-win games in Week 13

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Porzingis reshapes Knicks by elevating his game

TailGreater: Your championship week playlist is set

Clarification: Why the rules near the crease need to be fixed

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker