Some Rose Bowl trivia should help you avoid thorns

Dec 29, 2021, 8:35 PM | Updated: Feb 14, 2023, 12:43 pm

The Utah Utes celebrate after winning the PAC 12 Championship Saturday night. The Utes will play Oh...

The Utah Utes celebrate after winning the PAC 12 Championship Saturday night. The Utes will play Ohio State in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. (KSL TV)


It’s been called the “granddaddy of them all” and with good reason. As the nation’s longest running bowl game, age and experience come with the territory. The Rose Bowl, which pits Utah and Ohio State on New Year’s Day, dates back to 1902 and has been played every year since 1916.

That’s old, even for a football game.

Over the years, 44 different college teams and four military squads have participated in the showcase. The former is being upped to 45 as the Utes make their debut. They’ll forever be part of a cherished tradition. Part of the festivities includes the Rose Parade (which can be be seen on KSL TV at 9 a.m.) . ESPN will broadcast the game at 3 p.m.

However, in the meantime, load up on some Rose Bowl trivia. Information gained could make it sweet for you and those around you. OK, maybe not, but here comes a bouquet of this and that to share with family, friends and foes.

The first game (Jan. 2, 1902) was never finished . . . Stanford quit in the third quarter after Michigan built a 49-0 lead. The lopsided game led to football’s absence from the Tournament of Roses until 1916. Organizers held chariot and ostrich races instead, as well as other activities.

Not always in Pasadena . . . Following the attack on Pearl Harbor and West Coast shipping, the 1942 game was played in Durham, North Carolina. Duke volunteered to host the game and drew an estimated crowd of 56,000. Oregon State defeated the Blue Devils, 20-16. The pandemic forced movement of the 2021 game to Arlington, Texas. In what was also a national playoff semifinal, Alabama defeated Notre Dame, 31-14, before limited attendance of 18,373.

Utah joins Pac-12 fraternity . . . The Utes will become the 10thy team currently in the Pac-12 to play in the Rose Bowl, which most years has an agreement with the conference. USC has played in 34 Rose Bowls and is followed by Washington (15), Stanford (14), UCLA (12), California (8), Oregon (8), Oregon State (3), Washington State (3) and Arizona State (2). Arizona and Colorado have yet to make appearances.

Been here, done that . . .  In a game that frequently pits the Big Ten and Pac-12, Ohio State has played in the Rose Bowl quite often. This is the Buckeyes’ 16th game.Only USC and Michigan have smelled the roses more often.

Historic TV . . . The Rose Bowl has several claims to fame when it comes to television. In 1952, it became the first nationally televised game.

First game, different rules . . .  Michigan’s 49-0 drubbing of Stanford in 1902 featured some different rules. My, how the game has changed. The field was 110-yards long, forward passes were not allowed and teams had to go five-yards in three downs to get a first down. Touchdowns and field-goals were both worth five points and conversions were one point.

Military moments . . .  No college teams participated in the Rose Bowl in 1918 and 1919. The first hiatus featured the United States Marine Corps from Mare Island against Camp Lewis of the U.S. Army. Another USMC from Mare Island returned the following year to face Great Lakes from the U.S. Navy.

Contributing: Keira Farrimond




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Some Rose Bowl trivia should help you avoid thorns