The Rose Bowl is the highest attended college football bowl game in the nation. The number of fans in the stands frequently reaches more than 90,000 people. This game is also known as the “Granddaddy of Them All” since it is the oldest bowl game. The first time the Rose Bowl was played was back in 1902, but then took a break for 14 years afterwards. Even since starting back up in 1916, the Rose Bowl has been played every single year.
The Rose Bowl typically saw the best team in the Big Ten facing off against the best team in the Pac-10 (now Pac-12). Today, if either the Big Ten champion or the Pac-12 champion is playing for the BCS National Championship, a school from another conference can be chosen.
The Big Ten was typically the home team in odd-numbered years, while the Pac-12 team was home during the even numbered years. However, now the home team is the school with the highest ending BCS ranking. That team gets the East sideline and wears their home jerseys while the visiting team gets the West and puts on their away uniforms. The national anthem is performed by the band of the team with the higher BCS national ranking. That team then performs first at halftime, followed by the other school’s band. It is in the television contract that a portion of each band’s halftime performance be broadcast.
The game’s history has seen a dominance by Southern California. The Trojans have played in the Rose Bowl 33 times, winning 24 of those appearances. Michigan is the Big Ten leader with 20 appearances and eight wins. Washington and Ohio State have both been 14 times, winning seven each. Stanford and UCLA both have been involved 12 times with five victories.
The longest droughts of not making it to the Rose Bowl for Big Ten schools comes with Indiana’s only showing taking place back in 1968, Minnesota not being seen since 1962, and Michigan State’s last appearance back in 1988. The Pac-12 hasn’t had California as their representative since 1959 and Oregon State hasn’t returned since 1965. At least they have taken part, Arizona is yet to earn a Rose Bowl bid in the school’s history.
Some of the teams outside of the Big Ten and Pac-12 that have played in non-BCS Championship Rose Bowls are Alabama with six appearances, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Harvard, Columbia, and Navy.