LOS ANGELES -- The 99th edition of the Rose Bowl marks the fourth appearance for "The Godfather."

Wisconsin's Barry Alvarez, affectionately dubbed "The Godfather" by his players, will coach in his fourth Rose Bowl on Tuesday -- but his first since retiring from coaching after the 2005 season.

Alvarez is Wisconsin's full-time athletic director but agreed to lead the Badgers in Pasadena after coach Bret Bielema took the Arkansas job in early December.

"When he told me he was stepping down, he said, 'Why don't you take it?' " Alvarez recalled. "I didn't feel it was proper to name myself the head coach.

"But later that day, when the players called, when the captains called and asked if I would do it, I felt an obligation."

A member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Alvarez went 3-0 in the Rose Bowl during his coaching career.

With a victory over Stanford, he would tie Ohio State's Woody Hayes for the most Rose Bowl wins by a Big Ten coach.

Asked what he thinks of the nickname given to him by the players, Alvarez laughed:

"I've heard that before. I take that as a compliment, but the Godfather was Italian. I'm Spanish."

Gary Andersen, who led the turnaround at Utah State, will take over the Wisconsin program after the Rose Bowl.

  • The Rose Bowl marks a return to the BCS stage for Stanford linebacker Shayne Skov, who suffered a severe knee injury early last season.

    Skov played one of the best games of his career (12 tackles) in the Orange Bowl win over Virginia Tech two years ago.

    Watching the Fiesta Bowl loss to Oklahoma State last January wasn't easy.

    "Anytime you're doing something and it's a group effort and you're no longer able to actively participate, it's incredibly difficult," he said. "It was a lot easier when we were beating teams."

  • If field goals decide the outcome, Stanford should have an advantage.

    Place-kicker Jordan Williamson, who missed two critical field goals in the Fiesta Bowl, is oozing confidence after making six of his last nine attempts, including the game-winner at Oregon.

    Meanwhile, Wisconsin's Kyle French hasn't connected since Nov. 10, missing attempts in the Badgers' final three games.

  • Former coach Rick Neuheisel, who's providing Rose Bowl analysis for Sirius satellite radio, offered this prediction: "Stanford, in a big way."