College Football: Top 5 Rose Bowl Games Of All Time
The Rose Bowl was first played in 1902, and has been played annually since 1916. Since 1945, it has been the highest attended college football bowl game. It is a part of the Tournament of Roses "America's New Year Celebration", which also includes the historic Tournament of Roses Parade.
The Rose Bowl Game has traditionally hosted the conference champions from the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences (or their predecessors), but due to its past and present membership in several consortiums that seek to determine a "national champion" in Division I FBS, in 2002, the Rose Bowl began to infrequently deviate from its traditional match-up in order to facilitate championship games.
In 2002 and 2006 (2001 and 2005 football seasons), under the Bowl Championship Series system, the Rose Bowl was designated as its championship game, and hosted the top 2 teams determined by the BCS system. Beginning in 2015, the Rose Bowl is part of the College Football Playoff system, and will host one of its semi-final games every three years. During non-Playoff years, the Rose Bowl will revert to a Pac-12/Big Ten matchup.
Here are the five greatest Rose Bowl games of all time.
2006: Texas 41, USC 38
Hailed as one of the greatest games in college football history as Vince Young and Texas denied USC its third straight national title. Texas got the ball back after the defense stopped the Trojans on a 4th-and-2 with 2:09 left. Young, who had 467 total yards and three scores, went on to score the game-winner with 19 seconds left on a 4th-and-5. It was the Longhorns first national championship since 1970.
1963: USC 42, Wisconsin 38
The first time the Nos. 1 and 2 ranked teams in the country played in a bowl game, it didn’t disappoint. Wisconsin scored 23 unanswered points in the fourth quarter but couldn’t quite complete the comeback in a game that set 11 Rose Bowl records.
1929: Georgia Tech 8, California 7
The infamous Wrong-Way game, as Cal’s Roy Riegels recovered a fumble and returned it 65 yards in the wrong direction only to be stopped by a teammate at the 1-yard line. Tech blocked a punt a few plays later to take the lead on a safety.
1980: USC 17, Ohio State 16
Heisman trophy winning USC running back Charles White rushed for a Rose Bowl record 247 yards and the game-winning touchdown with a little over a minute remaining. USC finished the season ranked No. 2 behind Alabama because of a tie with Stanford earlier in the season in a game it led 21-0.
1966: UCLA 14, Michigan St. 12
UCLA shocked the No. 1 and heavily favored Spartans with two second-quarter touchdowns runs from sophomore quarterback Gary Beban, who went on to win the Heisman Trophy in 1967. Michigan St. nearly rallied with two fourth quarter scores, but both two-point conversions failed, including the dramatic final one where defensive back Bob Stiles stopped Bob Apisa one foot from the end zone, going unconscious in the process.