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 kickoff to the week’s festivities leading to the historic game in Pasadena.
They were welcomed by Mickey Mouse, who high-fived the head coaches.
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. The Cardinal played in the first Rose Bowl in 1902.
Stanford played the last two years in the Orange and Fiesta bowls.
“Those two don’t mean nearly as much as this game,” tight end Zach Ertz said. “This is something we all looked forward to growing up.”
Ertz was back at Disneyland for the first time since coming to the theme park as a 3-year-old, when he went on the Dumbo the elephant ride “20 times. My mom always brings it up.”