After seeing their undefeated season and college football playoff hopes vanish after a 27-21 loss to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game, the Wisconsin Badgers will get a chance to end the season on a high note by winning a BCS bowl game.
The team will play in the Capital One Orange Bowl for the first time in school history, matching up against the runners up in the ACC, the Miami Hurricanes.
“The U” are officially back to being an elite team, ending the program’s 14 year BCS bowl game drought. Miami went 10-2 this season and stood alongside Wisconsin as one of the few remaining undefeated teams a couple short weeks ago at 10-0.
The Hurricanes then lost in shocking fashion on the road against Pittsburgh, who only had four wins at the time. With the ACC Coastal already locked up, Miami, similarly to Wisconsin, could have been in College Football Playoff consideration had they won their conference championship game against top ranked Clemson.
While the Badgers put up a great fight before losing a close one against the Buckeyes in their conference championship game, Miami put on a dismal effort in theirs. The Hurricanes were pulverized by Clemson from start to finish. The game ended 38-3, and Miami would have been shutout if not for a garbage time field goal late in the fourth quarter.
Wisconsin will have plenty to prepare for before the December 30th matchup with Miami. As seniors get ready for their last collegiate game, they’ll have to gameplan for a team that is known for its speedy playmaking defense and balanced offense.
Wisconsin will enter the game ranked 6th in the College Football Playoff rankings after topping out at 4th last week before the loss to Ohio State, who in turn jumped to 5th as Alabama snagged the last playoff spot. Miami enters the game 10th in the rankings.
One factor that could benefit Miami is the location of the game. The Orange Bowl will be played in Hard Rock Stadium — Miami’s typical home stadium. Badger fans are known to travel well and many Wisconsinites can treat the game as a getaway from cold winter weather. Even then, it should not come as a surprise if come game time, the stands are loaded up with lots of fans in orange and green.
The game is scheduled to kick off at 7pm and will be televised on ESPN.