Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Michigan's history in the Rose Bowl

The Rose Bowl game is nicknamed "The Grandaddy of Them All" as it was the first post-season collegiate football game. Michigan's ties to the big game go all the way back to the beginning as Fielding Yost's Wolverines beat Stanford 49-0 in the inaugural Rose Bowl game in 1902. Michigan played in the Rose Bowl -and won- three more times (1948, 1951, 1965) prior to Coach Schembechler's arrival in Ann Arbor in 1969. Michigan played in five (5) Rose Bowl games during the 1970's and had the best regular season record of any school during the decade as the Wolverines went 96-10-3. However, they were never able to win any of their Rose Bowl games as they went 0-5 (1970, 1972, 1977, 1978 & 1979).

Coach Schembechler was able to capture his first Rose Bowl victory in the 1981 game with a 23-6 victory over Washington. That win evened Michigan's all-time Rose Bowl record to 5-5. The Wolverines had four more Rose Bowl trips under Bo (1983, 1987, 1989 & 1990) with Michigan earning a 22-14 victory over USC in the 1989 game. Overall, Bo's Rose Bowl record was 2-8. It should be noted that sometimes it is reported as 2-7. That is because Bo was not actually on the sideline (or even at the game) of the 1970 Rose Bowl game. Bo had suffered a heart attack the night before the game and was forced to turn the reins over to Def. Coordinator Jim Young. Thus, in some record books, Bo is 2-7 and Jim Young is 0-1.

Bo retired after the 1990 Rose Bowl game after having led Michigan for 21 seasons and he was followed by Gary Moeller. After a one year transition, Coach Moeller picked up where Coach Schembechler left off as the Wolverines had back-to-back Rose Bowl game appearances in the 1992 and 1993 games. That means Michigan appeared in the Rose Bowl game 4 times in 5 years (1989, 1990, 1992 & 1993). That was the second time the Wolverines had accomplished that feat as Michigan had played in the Rose Bowl four times in five years previously under Bo (1977, 1978, 1979, & 1981). Coach Moeller was 1-1 in the two Rose Bowl games in which he coached the Wolverines with his win coming in the 1993 game where Tyrone Wheatley (15 carries, 235 yards, 3 tds.) led the Wolverines to a 38-31 victory over Washington.

Coach Carr took over as Head Coach in 1995 and made his first appearance in the Rose Bowl in the 1998 game with his undefeated Michigan team that was playing for the National Championship. The Wolverines defeated Washington State 21-16 in one of the most important games in Michigan football history giving the Wolverines the AP National Championship. Following that game, the Wolverines did not play in the Rose Bowl in the next five years. However, they played in 2004 (USC) and 2005 (Texas) and are playing this year (USC) in the game for the third time in four years. Coach Carr is 1-2 in Rose Bowl games and is looking to even his record in "The Granddaddy of Them All" with a win on January 1, 2007 versus USC. Go Blue!

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