As we ramp up to our next big exhibit, “Ohio–Champion of Sports,” we’re sharing stories of Ohio athletes and teams that may surprise you.
The sixth-ranked Ohio State University Buckeyes will play in the Rose Bowl for the 15th time on Tuesday, January 1, 2019. As Ohioans (and fans around the world) gather to enjoy the game against the ninth-ranked University of Washington Huskies, here are some facts and stats to bring a little history to your viewing party.
This is the 105th Rose Bowl game. It’s the traditional matchup between the champions of the Big10 and PAC12 conferences. This is the first time Ohio State will face Washington in the Rose Bowl.
1969 Rose Bowl program features USC Trojans vs. Ohio State University
The Buckeyes are 7-7 in the Rose Bowl, and this is just the third time in 33 years the Buckeyes have played in it.
One of college football’s most elite post-season bowl games, the Rose Bowl is known as the “Granddaddy of Them All,” and for good reason: it’s the oldest bowl game. First played in 1902, it has been played each year since 1916. Since 1923 it has been played in Pasadena, California, in a sweeping, single-level stadium that bears the event’s name.
Rose Bowl Stadium under construction in Pasadena, California, 1921.
OSU made seven appearances in the Rose Bowl between 1969 and 1980. The result wasn’t all roses, however; the Buckeyes went 2-5 in those games.
This game is the 50th anniversary of the No. 1 Ohio State “super sophomores” beating Heisman Trophy winner O.J. Simpson and the No. 2 USC Trojans for the national title and an undefeated season.
In 1961, the Ohio State faculty voted against the Buckeyes accepting a Rose Bowl invitation. In response, the students rioted. It led to a down period of football recruiting that was revived by the ’68 Ohio State national title.
?Students sit at the intersections of Broad and High Streets in downtown Columbus in protest of Ohio State University’s decision to decline the 1961 Rose Bowl invitation. Photo credit: Ohio State University Press
In the 1974 Rose Bowl 42-21 win over USC, Buckeye legend and two-time Heisman trophy winner Archie Griffin ran for a Rose Bowl team-record 149 yards.
With an official seating capacity of 92,542, the Rose Bowl is the largest stadium that hosts post-season bowl games. Ohio State first played in the game in 1921, in a 28-0 loss to California. The Bucks avenged that loss against Cal in their next appearance, in 1950, with a 17-14 win.
Ohio State University football player Gaylord “Pete” Stinchcomb played for Ohio State University in the 1921 Rose Bowl before going on to play professionally for the Chicago Bears, the Columbus Tigers, the Cleveland Indians and the Louisville Colonels. He is an inductee in the College Football Hall of Fame.
On the eve of the ’69, ’71, and ’73 Rose Bowls, Ohio State coach Woody Hayes made the Buckeyes spend the night at The Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, located on 83 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in Sierra Madre, California. Players called it “The Monastery,” and at those times the remote retreat was home for 50 to 70 priests and brothers. “It was like Transylvania,” the late Buckeye great John Hicks once told The Columbus Dispatch. “I couldn’t go to sleep because I was scared to death. You thought Dracula was coming. It was that surreal.”
Postcard shows the sprawling Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center where the Ohio State football team spent the evening prior to several Rose Bowl appearances.