No. 8 Stanford balancing studies with Rose Bowl
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Hogan hustled off the practice field Tuesday morning, changed out of his sweaty Stanford football jersey and headed across campus for his most important meeting: a Spanish test.
Forgive the Cardinal quarterback if he's short on words — or mixing up his languages.
For the third straight season on The Farm, the year's biggest exams fall on the same week. Not only are the eighth-ranked Cardinal (11-2) finishing finals in the classroom, the Pac-12 champions are beginning preparations for the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl against Big Ten winner Wisconsin (8-5).
"We're used to it by now," Hogan said. "We've been through this already."
After playing in the Orange Bowl and Fiesta Bowl the past two seasons, the experience still doesn't make the work any easier on or off the field at the rigorous academics university.
Players had last week off during a "dead week" of school, when students don't have class but hunker down for exams. Hogan, a redshirt freshman who has yet to declare his major, has another final Friday in Earth Systems before he can fully invest his time in football.
Same goes for most of his teammates.
Hogan still gathered his wide receivers and tight ends during the off week to run routes and stay in game shape. Others have been recovering from the bumps and bruises of the season since beating UCLA 27-24 in the league title game on Nov. 30.
"I think it's just balancing, finding the right combination of being prepared but not overthinking everything," linebacker Shayne Skov said. "I think with any sort of important moment in your life you want to be thorough, you want to be ready, but you also don't want to overdo things and put any undue stress on yourself."
Stanford coach David Shaw and his staff hit the recruiting trail from coast to coast while also beginning to game plan for the Badgers.
Wisconsin added a wrinkle to that preparation when Bret Bielema surprisingly left to become the new Arkansas coach. Badgers athletic director Barry Alvarez, the coach from 1990 through 2005, will return to the sidelines for the Rose Bowl before he hires a replacement.
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