Tuesday, December 16, 2003

The local jubilation that the Rose Bowl has an "old school" feel to it this year, with the Pac-10 champs playing their Big-10 counterparts, is ironic considering how that relationship began, back in 1946. At one time, the Rose Bowl usually pitted a Southern power against SC, UCLA or California, and the year the now-traditional match-up began, there was much bitterness about how the agreement prevented the school everyone wanted to play in Pasadena, Army, from meeting the Bruins. This article reveals how the writers of that time saw the arrangement to set West Coast and Midwestern powers against each other on New Year's Day was originally viewed as the "death knell" for the Rose Bowl. In reality, the decision to dump the ad hoc arrangement of inviting Alabama, Tennessee or Georgia, in favor of a formal arrangement to play Iowa, Michigan or Ohio State, simply reflected the demographic shift in white migration to Southern California in the early-20th Century; were the decision to be made today, the Tournament of Roses Committee would probably seek out the Big-12 champion.


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