>TCU vs. Wisconsin
TCU didn’t get to prove it deserved to play for the BCS title. A victory over Wisconsin in the Granddaddy of Them All could go a long way toward showing that it should have.
The third-ranked Horned Frogs, owners of the nation’s top defense, face a No. 4 Badgers team that reached the 70-point mark three times this season in the 97th Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.
The Frogs, who went undefeated for the second straight regular season, will make their first appearance in perhaps the most prestigious and storied bowl in college football. TCU gets to play in Pasadena over a Pac-10 team — the traditional selection to face the Big Ten representative — because the Rose Bowl was obligated this year to select a team from a non-automatic BCS qualifying conference if one was eligible and not playing in the title game.
TCU is allowing averages of 11.4 points, 126.3 passing yards and 215.4 total yards — all tops in the FBS — and 89.2 rushing yards, third-fewest in the country. The Frogs’ speedy defense, though, should receive its biggest test of the season from the Badgers (11-1), who are tied for fourth in the nation with 43.3 points per game — same as TCU.
Scott Tolzien has passed for 2,300 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions while completing 74.3 percent of his throws — best in the country.
For TCU to keep the Badgers from an eighth straight win — Wisconsin’s seven consecutive victories have come by 26.1 points — it will have to stop a trio of running backs that has piled up nearly 2,900 yards on the ground. James White (1,029), John Clay (936) and Montee Ball (864) running behind six All-Big Ten offensive linemen proved far too much for opponents to handle.
TCU QB Andy Dalton is a 41-game winner as a starter. The senior has thrown for 2,638 yards, 26 touchdowns and six interceptions while running for 407 yards and five TDs this season.
Ed Wesley paces the nation’s 12th-ranked rushing attack with 1,065 yards, while Matthew Tucker ran for 694.
Josh Boyce leads the team in receiving yards with 602 on 33 catches and has six touchdowns, while Jeremy Kerley has 50 catches for 517 yards and 10 scores.
Prediction: TCU shows it should have gotten a chance to play for the title by shutting down Wisconsin and winning 42-14.