No. 15 Western Michigan shaved Northwestern by a point in its season opener, then won its next 11 matchups by an average of 27.8 points before improving to 13-0 after beating Ohio by six points for the Mid-American Conference championship. Wisconsin (10-3) is ranked No. 8 and each of its losses came by seven points to Big Ten opponents ranked seventh in the nation or higher (No. 4 Michigan, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 7 Penn State). The Goodyear Cotton Bowl will be the fifth time these teams have met, with every previous matchup occurring at Madison and not since 2000. This year marks just the second time in the history of the conference that a MAC team has been selected for a New Year’s Six bowl game.
Wisconsin (10-3) vs. Western Michigan (13-0)
Jan. 2, 2017
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Players to watch
- The Broncos are led by senior wide receiver Corey Davis, who is the all-time leading receiver in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 5,068 yards. Davis has 18 touchdown catches among 91 receptions this season, and he’s the only player in FBS history with 300-plus catches, 5,000-plus yards, and 50-plus receiving touchdowns.
- Running back Corey Clement’s 292 carries and 1,304 rushing yards are nearly half of Wisconsin’s backfield totals – as are his 14 rushing touchdowns. The senior tied his season-high with 164 rushing yards in the Big Ten championship, while also catching a season-high three passes.
- The Badgers are coming off their fourth appearance in six seasons of the Big Ten championship game.
- Western Michigan’s 15-game winning streak is second only to Alabama (25).
- Wisconsin is making its 15th consecutive bowl bid – the longest active streak in the Big Ten – at the 81st Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
- The Broncos’ are making the first Cotton Bowl appearance in program history and the third consecutive bowl appearance under head coach P.J. Fleck.
- The Badgers have faced six teams this season ranked among the top 12 in the Associated Press poll.
- Western Michigan quarterback Zach Terrell has 32 touchdown passes and just three interceptions for an 180.6 passer rating – the fourth-highest mark in the country.
- Wisconsin is making its second appearance at AT&T Stadium after losing to Alabama in the AdvoCare Classic to kick off the 2015 season.
- Running back Jarvion Franklin leads Western Michigan in carries (241), rushing yards (1,300) and rushing touchdowns (12).
- Wide receiver Jazz Peavy leads Wisconsin in receptions (43), receiving yards (635) and touchdown catches (five).
How to watch
Game time: 1 p.m. ET
TV channel: ESPN
Live stream: You can live stream the game here.