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It's game day at the Rose Bowl

PASADENA, Calif. — Greetings from Rose Bowl Stadium, where it is sunny and very warm, with temperatures expected to peak in the low 80s. Explain to me again why I don't live here.

Neither team will really be used to this weather, which is far different than what they practiced in at home. Given the pace Oregon plays at, perhaps heat will become a factor.

I still think this will be a close game, and the way New Year's Day is unfolding once again, the Big Ten needs a win. Wisconsin players and coaches told me they probably won't really understand Oregon's speed until they see it in person right off the bat. In-game adjustments, then, will be huge. And the Badgers are going to have to maintain their discipline if the Ducks rip off a big play. Make that, when the Ducks rip off a big play, because it will happen.

"A lot of times, that's when they kick into hyper gear, because defensive players will have a little bit of a reaction after a big play," linebacker Chris Borland told me. "It's important that if something happens, we just have to show some poise and play the next down."

Fans are starting to trickle into the stadium. Many are wearing short sleeves and shorts. It's that kind of day, and I expect a terrific game to match the perfect conditions.

Much, much more to come, including some notes from pre-game warmups ...