ANAHEIM, Calif. — Wisconsin is in the Rose Bowl for the third straight year. This time, the Badgers are bringing a familiar face with them on the sideline.
Athletic director Barry Alvarez, who won three Rose Bowls during his coaching career in Madison, Wis., is handling coaching duties for the 99th Rose Bowl on Tuesday following the departure of Bret Bielema for Arkansas.
Alvarez joined his team at Disneyland on Wednesday, along with Stanford coach David Shaw and the Cardinal players in the traditional kick off to the week’s festivities leading to the historic game in Pasadena.
They were welcomed by Mickey Mouse, who high-fived the coaches.
“I thought these days are over,” Alvarez said. “It’s like a Christmas present for me.”
The Badgers (8-5) will be looking for a win against No. 8 Stanford (11-2) after losing on their last two trips to Pasadena against TCU and Oregon.
The game features a rematch of the 2000 edition, won 17-9 by Wisconsin and Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Ron Dayne. That was Stanford’s most recent trip to the game.
In his third trip out West, running back Montee Ball plans to go easy when Wisconsin visits Lawry’s Prime Rib for its turn at the Beef Bowl on Friday night. Stanford will visit the Beverly Hills restaurant today.
“The first year I had three of them (cuts of beef),” he said. “I felt really sluggish at the game. Last year I had 1 1/2, so maybe one this year.”
And Ball has a strategy for the Beef Bowl as much as for the big game itself.
“Do not drink any water or juice because it will fill you up,” he said. “Attack the meat first and then the sides.”