Friday, December 30, 2011
Pac-12 media day extravaganza!
By Ted Miller
LOS ANGELES -- The 2012 Rose Bowl media day is now history. We'll have heaps of reports and videos the rest of the day.
But some quick impressions.
- Oregon was the smaller team against Ohio State in the Rose Bowl two years ago and against Auburn in the national championship game last year, but Wisconsin dwarfs both of those teams. The Badgers, quite simply, are the biggest football team I've seen, and that includes a few years covering the NFL. That doesn't mean the Badgers are going to dominate up front. There are certain to be moments when their size creates mismatches and big plays, just as there are certain to be moments when the Ducks quickness makes the beefy Badgers look bad.
- This is clearly a business trip for both teams. There were very few wide-eyes over the media horde throwing out random, redundant and often silly questions, one after another. Both teams seemed loose and relaxed. Both teams seem more game-oriented than the whole "enjoying the bowl experience" thing.
- Wisconsin's outstanding center Peter Konz told ESPN.com's Brian Bennett the ankle injury that knocked him out of the final three games of the season feels much better. He wouldn't say for sure he was going to start on Monday, but the odds are certainly looking better than they did a week ago.
- Badgers receiver Jared Abbrederis is this year's Jeff Maehl. You look at the former walk-on and go, "Really?" -- just as the national media did at Maehl last year. But the sophomore is definitely a player to watch, considering his numbers nearly match leading receiver Nick Toon, son of former Wisconsin and NFL receiver Al Toon. He caught 55 passes for 822 yards -- 14.9 yards per catch -- with nine TDs this season. Looks, as Maehl showed over and over in 2010, can be deceiving.
- The Ducks said that coach Chip Kelly made no major changes to how the team prepared for the previous two bowl games. A couple said they felt like the team might be more serious this year, but that just might be because there are fewer seniors.