The Rose Bowl Done As We Know It

Jul 1, 2022, 12:14 PM
Rose Bowl Trophy with Helmets...
(Photo Courtesy of the Rose Bowl Game)
(Photo Courtesy of the Rose Bowl Game)

SALT LAKE CITY – There is a reason that the Rose Bowl has been called the “Granddaddy of them all.” It is an iconic venue, setting, game, and those of a certain age will always link the Rose Bowl with the late infamous announcer Keith Jackson.

The University of Utah made its first-ever Rose Bowl appearance this past year and everyone who is a fan of the Utes program was beyond ecstatic to go to the most famous bowl game.

Now, the Rose Bowl has likely lost a lot of its luster. The game itself will go on in some form or fashion either as a stand-alone major bowl or as part of the College Football Playoff rotation, but it will never be the same with a weakened Pac-12.

This is all for money and it is a shame. Some traditions are hokey but the Rose Bowl is not one of them. There is a reason the bowl game can demand to be played early afternoon on the West Coast and on January 1 when it’s not a playoff game. It is because it has clout.

Now, the bowl could still put on a great game but the tradition is slowly dying with an expiration date in the near future already stamped on its side.

The game has almost exclusively been between the best from the Pac-12 and Big Ten. Now, USC and the home team UCLA Bruins jettisoning for a massive pay increase with the Big Ten. Things are going to change with the Rose Bowl. The game that was held in so much regard is never going to be the same once the 2024 season is here and the two Los Angeles-based schools are gone.

Sean O’Connell of the SiriusXM Pac-12 channel joined UnRivaled and is blunt with his thoughts on the Rose Bowl which is now just another bowl game.

“The Rose Bowl as we know it, Big Ten, Pac-12 championship is done. Big Ten, Pac-12 as a historic game is done. Because the Big Ten has cut the legs out from under the Pac-12, effectively,” O’Connell said. “So, I don’t know what’s going to happen to a game like that, but we know that there will be some iteration of the Rose Bowl and it’ll just be a big money college football contest. Maybe it’s part of the College Football Playoff.”

That is a big statement but it is not far off. First off, the Pac-12 realistically could no longer exist down the road and despite all of the nostalgia and historic significance there is of the Rose Bowl, that bowl game does not want to feature lesser teams.

Even though USC has only gone to one Rose Bowl since 2009 — they did go to five of six from 2003-08 — they are seemingly always in the conversation to be a Pac-12 champion and because of that, a Rose Bowl berth.

During every round of expansion and conference movement, there are casualties. The big talk was rivalries with Utah and BYU not playing every year or Texas A&M and Texas refusing to play each other. Losing those rivalries, and others is a big deal to those who grew up watching those games.

The potential loss to the Rose Bowl in its traditional format will irk a whole subset of college football fans. One way to keep the “Granddaddy of them all” the pinnacle of college football would be to make it the permanent home for the college football championship game.

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