The 2013 Rose Bowl is just hours away. We’re sure you have so many questions. We’re here to help. (For an X's and O's breakdown, click through to Stewart Mandel's game preview.)
• What's all this, then? This is the Rose Bowl. This is like the one game all year that doesn't need this question. You know what the Rose Bowl is. The fact that you all know what the Rose Bowl is is central to the mythology of the Rose Bowl. This is the Rose Bowl. It is played in the Rose Bowl. Why is it called the Rose Bowl? STOP THAT.
• When is it on television? Coverage begins at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN, featuring the vocal stylings of Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, Heather Cox and Tom Rinaldi. The game will also air on ESPN Deportes and stream on WatchESPN.
• Whom does it feature? Any champions of the Pac-12 and Big Ten not playing in the BCS title game.
• What about this year? With the national championship game slots going to an SEC team and an independent, Big Ten champ Wisconsin and Pac-12 champ Stanford will travel to Pasadena.
• Does the bowl have a social media presence? It does, albeit a steadfastly dignified one:
Tournament of Roses President Sally Bixby with this year's Grand Marshall Dr. Jane Goodall at the Kickoff Luncheon. twitter.com/rosebowlgame/s…
— Rose Bowl Game (@rosebowlgame) December 31, 2012
• What wacky activities will the teams be subjected to this week? The wackiest is probably the Lawry's Beef Bowl, in which large elite athletes compete at beef-eating. See Stanford's efforts here, and Wisconsin's here.
Zach Ertz on the Lawry's Beef Bowl: "I think Josh Garnett had about one cow to himself." Garnett ate seven slabs of ribs.• What's the pick? Stewart Mandel is in Pasadena for the game, and delivers the following prediction: "While the Badgers are better than their record indicates -- they lost three overtime games -- Montee Ball and his fellow running backs will not be able to overpower Stanford's fifth-ranked rushing defense (2.8 yards per carry) the way they did Nebraska's. Stanford may struggle to run, too, but quarterback Kevin Hogan (72.9 completion percentage) is more dynamic than counterpart Curt Phillips."
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) December 28, 2012