PASADENA, Calif. - The weather was beautiful Monday for the Rose Bowl game between Oregon and Wisconsin - about 80 degrees, sunshine and very little wind.
And, the UO "liquid metal" helmets indeed shimmered in the California sunlight with their mirror-like quality. They looked either gimmicky or really cool, depending on your taste.
The Ducks and Badgers each entered the BCS game at 11-2, and as losers of the past two Rose Bowl games. Ohio State beat Oregon 26-17 in 2010, TCU topped Wisconsin 21-19 last year.
And, each team had their chances at the national championship this season. Oregon blew a late game to USC and Wisconsin lost two nailbiters to Michigan State and Ohio State on Hail Mary passes.
So, some redemption was in the minds of both teams. An added incentive for the Ducks: Chip Kelly's team wanted to avoid a third consecutive BCS loss.
The crowd looked about evenly divided, with perhaps a tad more Wisconsin fans having made the trip.