- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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PASDADENA, Calif. -- This is literally familiar turf for both Wisconsin and Stanford -- the participants in the 99th Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio.
For the Badgers, it’s their third consecutive trip to Pasadena after coming up short the previous two years. For the Cardinal, this is their second time playing at the Rose Bowl in their last three games. The regular season finale was here against UCLA – a 35-17 win on Nov. 24.
Both of these teams are used to the BCS bowl game spotlight. Along with Oregon, Stanford and Wisconsin are the only teams in the country playing in a BCS bowl game for the third straight year.
While the venue has been the same for the Badgers, it’s been a new destination all three times for the Cardinal. It was Miami and Orange Bowl in 2010, Arizona and the Fiesta Bowl last year and now they traveled a mere 317 miles from The Farm to Pasadena. In case you were wondering, if the Cardinal did qualify for the Sugar Bowl next year, they would be the second team in history to complete the BCS cycle. Miami did it from 2000-2003 going Sugar/Rose/Fiesta/Orange.
The Cardinal enter the game having won seven straight – the last loss coming on Oct. 13 to Notre Dame. Mid-year replacement quarterback Kevin Hogan has won four straight games – all against ranked opponents. Despite the early success, offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton said this is just the tip of what Hogan is capable of.
“He’s still got a ways to go,” Hamilton said. “He’s played four games, but he’s still got a ways to go. But even so, his poise is what makes him a special player in my opinion. Obviously, the instincts and the talent is what prevails when it’s all said and done. But he’s still a work in progress.”