Steele: Badgers headed to third straight Rose Bowl

Wisconsin is going to its third consecutive Rose Bowl — at least, that’s what Phil Steele foresees. Steele has the Badgers, losers of the past two Rose Bowls, headed to Pasadena, Calif., to play Southern Cal in his updated 2012-13 bowl predictions. In all, Steele predicts nine Big Ten bowl teams. See all of his matchups in this post.

[PhilSteele.com: 2012-2013 Bowl Projections]

STEELE’S BIG TEN BOWL PROJECTIONS
Little Caesar’s Bowl: Northwestern vs. Ohio
Meineke Car Care Bowl: Illinois vs. Texas Tech
Insight Bowl: Penn State vs. TCU
TicketCity Bowl: Purdue vs. Tulsa
Outback Bowl: Nebraska vs. Florida
Capital One Bowl: Michigan vs. Georgia
Gator Bowl: Iowa vs. South Carolina
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Southern Cal
Sugar Bowl: Michigan State vs. LSU

Can’t say there are any surprises here. Nine Big Ten teams is a very safe prediction, seeing as how Indiana and Minnesota could struggle to reach the six-win barrier and Ohio State is ineligible for postseason play this season.

Matchup I’d most like to see: Michigan State vs. LSU – The Rose Bowl would be terrific, with two likely Heisman Trophy finalists (Montee Ball & Matt Barkley) facing off, but the level of defense in this matchup is too great to pass up.

Under-the-radar game that would be worth watching: Penn State vs. TCU – Like matchups that pit offensive wits vs. defensive wits? Bill O’Brien vs. Gary Patterson would be pretty entertaining.

Brent Yarina is a web editor and blogger for BTN.com. Find all of his work here and follow him on twitter at @BTNBrentYarina.

16 Comments

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aroznowski on 7/5/2012 @ 6:37pm EDT Said:

Apparently Phil Steele has forgotten that Michigan State has lost the likes of Kirk Cousins, Edwin Baker, B.J. Cunningham, Keshawn Martin, Keith Nichol, Garrett Celek, Brian Linthicum, Jerel Worthy, and Trenton Robinson and that Wisconsin has lost the likes of Paul Chryst, Russell Wilson, Nick Toon, Kevin Zeitler, Peter Konz, Josh Oglesby, Louis Nzegwu, Patrick Butrym, Aaron Henry, Antonio Fenelus, Brad Nortman, and Philip Welch. The Spartans and Badgers will both take noticeable steps back. Le’Veon Bell and Montee Ball will probably keep the Spartans and Badgers, respectively, simply afloat for most of the season.

DUMP the chUMps (@DUMPthechUMps) on 7/5/2012 @ 7:15pm EDT Said:

It’s not all about who the teams lost. When good teams lose good players it’s also about who is returning to those teams. Wisky and MSU return excellent players and playing units. For both teams, it will be a matter of winning or losing the close games. If you know the teams and know who is coming back these predictions are no surprise. A strong D, O-line and running backs and account for a lot while talented and inexperienced QB and WRs develop under a staff that has proven it develops talent. I doubt Phil Steele “forgot” the losses – he just knows of the gains that you have not a clue…

Gator on 7/5/2012 @ 7:19pm EDT Said:

MSU will have the best defense in the B1G along with 5 Starting OL guys and a great RB. Both MSU and Wisconsin will be stellar again this year. There will be a rematch between MSU vs UW for the 2012 B1G championship game!

Jerry Brewster on 7/5/2012 @ 7:22pm EDT Said:

Where all duh goofers at?

aroznowski on 7/5/2012 @ 11:10pm EDT Said:

I am aware of who both of those teams return, and I expect that both teams will remain in the conference championship hunt for most of the season. However, I don’t expect these two teams to have the same level of chemistry and hunger that teams like Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Penn State have. It is going to take some time for players such as Andrew Maxwell, Bennie Fowler, DeAnthony Arnett, Michigan State’s other wide receivers, Danny O’Brien, Jared Abbrederis, Jeff Duckworth, Wisconsin’s offensive and defensive linemen, and Wisconsin’s specialists to settle into their bigger, more important roles. Michigan is going to have a senior quarterback and a team that wants revenge on the Spartans and that hopes to prove that 2011 was not a fluke. Nebraska is going to have a third-year starting quarterback, one of the conference’s top running backs, a good but not great defense, and a team that wants revenge on the Badgers and that hopes to prove that a four-loss season was a result of “new conference syndrome”. Ohio State is going to have one of the top sophomore quarterbacks in the country playing for a two-time national champion coach who has coached a quarterback to a Heisman Trophy in that quarterback’s first season as his starting quarterback. Penn State is going to have one of the conference’s top running backs and a team that wants revenge on the Badgers and that will be playing in honor of Jerry Sandusky’s victims and in memory of Joe Paterno. Don’t forget that the last person to go from being an assistant coach under Bill Belichick to a head coach of an underachieving college football program took his team to a Fiesta Bowl appearance in year one. I don’t expect the Nittany Lions to play in a BCS bowl game, but I do expect them to overachieve this season. Michigan State’s defense, Le’Veon Bell, Dan Conroy, and Mike Sadler will keep the Spartans in games, but, in the end, winning teams typically have offenses that fire on all cylinders in both the rushing and passing games. It’s too soon to tell how Michigan State’s new quarterback and new wide receivers will fare. Montee Ball will keep the Badgers in games, but, in the end, inexperienced specialists, a porous secondary that has a history of getting flat out exposed, and a passing attack that is not as potent as its rushing attack will end up biting them a few times. Teams that lose that many impact players from the previous season rarely make runs at conference and national championships.

Doug on 7/6/2012 @ 7:11am EDT Said:

Agree Gator, I think MSU will take the B!G title this year, gonna be a top 5 defense again. MSU and Wisky will not take a step back, they have very capable players to fill those spots. Now if MSU doesn’t end up in the Sugar instead of the Rose, I will be OK with that too, it will be so much better then that WEAK Sugar Bowl last year…

Doug on 7/6/2012 @ 7:12am EDT Said:

whoops, should have said if MSU ends up in the Sugar, not the Rose…..

Doug on 7/6/2012 @ 9:53am EDT Said:

2011 was a fluke for Michigan, getting to play 8 home games, missing Wisky and PSU, and needing OSU to drop several passes just to beat them at home, then, getting a mediocre ACC team in the Sugar Bowl, and needing a horrible over turn of a TD just to win that game? the stars were aligned for M in 2011, look for 7-5 in 2012

CB on 7/6/2012 @ 1:50pm EDT Said:

If “wanting revenge” won you games, be ready to see the Hoosiers in Indy this year..

Doug on 7/6/2012 @ 1:57pm EDT Said:

Exactly CB, MSU has D-Rob’s number, that’s all their is too it. The key to beating him: make him pass !

aroznowski on 7/6/2012 @ 6:34pm EDT Said:

The one word that is going to define Big Ten football this season is parity. Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State, Wisconsin, and even Purdue could win the conference championship and earn a trip to Pasadena if the breaks go their way. If Ohio State was eligible for postseason play, the Buckeyes would be in that mix as well. Anyone that thinks that one or two teams such as Michigan State and Wisconsin are head and heels above everybody else in the conference needs to get their head checked. The Big Ten’s top teams in 2011 will take a step back toward the pack, and the Big Ten’s bottom teams in 2011 will take a step forward. Just about any Big Ten team will have what it takes to beat any other Big Ten team on any given day this season. I am even predicting that Indiana will win a conference game this season. I can’t recall a recent season where the conference championship race was this wide open prior to its start.

Doug on 7/7/2012 @ 9:48am EDT Said:

Nobody is saying MSU and Wis. are heads and heels above everyone else, but they are the favorites to repeat as their respective champions. MSU as Neb at home but goes to Mich where they have won two straight and they have D-Rob’s number. Mich has MSU at home but goes to Neb for a night game. Neb has Mich at home but must go to MSU where State hasn’t lost in two years. MSU’s toughest game will be a 3:30 night game in Madison. Neb’s toughest game will be at MSU, and M’s toughest game is that night game in Lincoln. Wis has to travel to Lincoln, and of course M misses out on Wis AGAIN. MSU will have the best D in the big ten and top 5 in the nation again, and will keep MSU in every game. Bell is one of the best RB’s in the nation, all the passing game has to do is keep drives alive once in awhile, and behind one of the best O-line’s in the conference, Maxwell will have plenty of time to move the football.

Owning unknown on 7/7/2012 @ 1:50pm EDT Said:

Wis returns 2 kids at spots that just killed them as David Gilbert is going to be a monster rush end and devin smith returns to his starting cb spot, cousins just exploited this in both games as he picked on our nickel and up had no edge rusher

D will be best since 2006 as the Dl is 8 deep and the lb duo of Taylor and Borland is peerless in big ten, safety duo is very good and bbb
Thinks it will be his best duo since 2006

Uw only really has 2 new starters on o and one was the acc fresh of the year 2 years ago. (At qb, ) Ryan gory has played a ton at both oc and og and Frederick and Wagner are both projected as number one lt and oc for nfl draft in 2013. Oblesby was on verge of losing his job to rob have stein so that’s not really a lossthere

Bottom line, Uw will be top o in big ten as its tb,te,wr,2-3 ol and a vetbqbgives them great balance and upwards of 5-6 all big ten players

This will be bielemas most complete team as it is deep and veteran

Kenny on 7/7/2012 @ 5:48pm EDT Said:

I think that Wisconsin is the favorite in the Big Ten but I would not over look the Spartans, Ohio St, Michigan, or Nebraska, especially the Spartans. It is going to be a great season. I just hope that my Gophers can get it going and win some games.

Jim Smith on 7/7/2012 @ 6:45pm EDT Said:

I wouldn’t put too much stock into his predictions. He has Florida State v Oklahoma in the national championship game. With MSU in the Sugar, it’s possible he has Michigan losing to Wisconsin in Big Ten Championship.

Doug on 7/8/2012 @ 4:27pm EDT Said:

Good point Jim. No way M is going to the big ten title game. I expect them to finish 3rd behind MSU and Neb.