PASADENA, California (Ticker) -- Two of the winningest programs in college football history meet for the first time on New Year's Day when No. 5 Texas takes on 12th-ranked Michigan in the Rose Bowl.
Michigan is the all-time Division I-A leader in wins (842), while Texas is tied with Nebraska for third with 786.
Despite starting true freshmen at quarterback (Chad Henne) and running back (Mike Hart), the Wolverines went 9-2 but failed to win the Big Ten Conference outright after losing at Ohio State on November 20, 37-21. Michigan earned the league's automatic BCS berth by virtue of having defeated Iowa, the other co-champion, back in September.
Michigan will play in its 19th Rose Bowl, the most of any Big Ten school and second only to Southern California (29), which beat the Wolverines here last year, 28-14, to earn a share of the national title. Michigan is 8-10 in Rose Bowls.
The Wolverines are playing in their ninth consecutive New Year's Day bowl game during Lloyd Carr's 10-year stint as coach. Michigan is making its NCAA-leading 30th straight bowl appearance and 35th overall.
Michigan will be without defensive end Larry Harrison, who has been charged with indecent exposure, and likely will be missing No. 2 receiver Jason Avant, who is experiencing swelling in his knee after undergoing arthroscopic surgery.
The Wolverines also may be without offensive tackle Adam Stenavich, who was arrested for disorderly conduct at a bar in his Wisconsin hometown over Thanksgiving weekend. Stenavich made the trip but Mike Kolodziej will start.
While Michigan will be making its third BCS bowl game appearance, Texas will be making its first, though it played in the Fiesta Bowl as the Big 12 Conference champion following the 1996 season in the Bowl Alliance, the predecessor to the BCS. The Longhorns also will be playing in the Rose Bowl for the first time.
Texas (10-1) lost to Big 12 rival Oklahoma for the fifth year in a row on October 9, but it won its last six games. The Longhorns have posted nine or more wins in a school-record seven straight seasons and are aiming for a school record-tying 11 wins for a third time in four years.
The Longhorns are paced by Doak Walker Award-winning running back Cedric Benson, who averaged 160.36 yards this season, the fourth-best mark in the country. As a team, Texas averaged 302.36 rushing yards, the second-best mark in the country, but the Longhorns were just 105th in passing offense (106.51).