QUARTERBACKS

This holiday week in Orlando has turned into a Connor Shaw lovefest, with most of the compliments coming from Wisconsin's side. Linebacker Chris Borland compared Shaw to Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller. Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda called Shaw the heart of South Carolina's offense. Meanwhile, Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave's job may not be guaranteed next year. You do the math.

- South Carolina

RUNNING BACKS

Nothing against USC's Mike Davis. He's a great running back, as talented as any player on the field in this Capital One Bowl. It's just that Wisconsin has two tailbacks with similar capabilities. Between sophomore Melvin Gordon and senior James White, the Badgers are blessed with the best running back tandem in America. Both have more than 1,300 rushing yards this season, making them the only teammates to reach that milestone.

- Wisconsin

RECEIVERS

It's hard to find a more contrasting positional battle than receiver. South Carolina's receiving corps is built on depth, with six players accounting for more than 200 yards this season. Wisconsin doesn't have much depth, but its star power is undisputed. Senior Jared Abbrederis is the definition of a "go-to receiver," ranking third in the Big Ten with 73 catches and fourth with 1,051 yards. When it all boils down, one great receiver trumps a few very good ones.

- Wisconsin

OFFENSIVE LINE

Southern Cal is Tailback U. Penn State is Linebacker U. And Wisconsin is most definitely Offensive Lineman U. The nickname isn't as sexy, but it fits. The Badgers are known for their big, bruising offensive linemen, and this team is no different. Wisconsin ranks third in the Big Ten with just 15 sacks allowed, seven fewer than South Carolina. The running game is where it really hits another level, plowing the path for two 1,300-plus yard tailbacks.

- Wisconsin

DEFENSIVE LINE

The Gamecocks have two All-Americans to anchor their defense up front. They'll be tested against Wisconsin's offensive line, but there's no reason to think Jadeveon Clowney, Kelcy Quarles and company can't hold their own. South Carolina didn't have a dominant pass rush this fall like in years past. Its 24 sacks were barely half of last season's total. Still, the Gamecocks' rush defense ranks second in the SEC and could give Wisconsin's running game a bigger challenge than some expect.

- South Carolina

LINEBACKER

Wisconsin's All-American is on the second level. Senior Chris Borland, an AP second-team All-American, epitomizes everything you want in a linebacker. He's a spokesman for the Badgers' defense, and his numbers - 102 tackles, 8.5 for loss, four sacks - do even more talking. South Carolina freshman Skai Moore had a tremendous rookie season, leading the Gamecocks in tackles. Moore could very well have All-American honors in his future. For now, the edge goes to the elder.

- Wisconsin

SECONDARY

Wisconsin's secondary is solid, but the Gamecocks are one of the more opportunistic pass defenses out there. The Gamecocks' defensive backs are playmakers, ranking third in the SEC with 15 interceptions this season. It will likely be the last game for senior Jimmy Legree and junior Victor Hampton, who is expected to leave school early for the NFL Draft. Don't expect Legree and Hampton to go out without making a few plays in the Capital One Bowl first.

- South Carolina

SPECIAL TEAMS

Neither of these special teams units is very good, ranking near the bottom of their respective conferences in most statistical categories. What's the tie-breaker? If the Capital One Bowl comes down to the final minutes - currently, Wisconsin is a one-point favorite in one of the closest spreads of this bowl season - you'll take South Carolina kicker Elliott Fry for a potential game-winning field goal. The Gamecocks trust Fry to deliver in the clutch, and that could be critical Wednesday.

- South Carolina

SUMMARY

Start combing through the positional battles one by one, and it's easy to see why many expect a tough, competitive Capital One Bowl. Wisconsin is built similarly to South Carolina. Tough in the trenches. Effective running the football and stopping the run. The difference here is senior quarterback Connor Shaw. Wisconsin has been the slight favorite over the past month, and for good reason. The Badgers have an excellent football team, but how does South Carolina's winningest quarterback end his career with a loss? In Orlando, the magic city, the fairytale doesn't end that way.

PREDICTION: South Carolina 31, Wisconsin 28

- Ryan Wood