The worst thing about bowl games is they mark the end of the college football season. There are those that say 34 bowl matchups and a national championship game are too many.
But I am not of that opinion. After the bowl games, there is no more college football until next September.
From 1902 until 1935, the Rose Bowl was the only game of its kind. Can you imagine just having one contest to watch? Of course, there was no television back then, so unless you could make it to Pasadena, Calif., you were out of luck. The first one in 1902 had Michigan rolling over Stanford 49-0 when the California school called it quits in the third quarter.
The football game, then known as the “The Tournament of Roses East-West Football game” was suspended from 1902 until 1916 and was replaced by chariot races, ostrich races and other events as part of the Rose Festival in Pasadena. Football returned in 1916, as the Rose Bowl, and it has been going strong ever since. In 1935 the Sugar, Orange and Sun bowls were played for the first time with the Cotton Bowl coming into existence in 1937. The Gator Bowl got its start in 1947.
Georgia Tech and Georgia have each played in the Rose Bowl game once, and both appearances came in the national championship seasons for the two schools. The Yellow Jackets defeated California 8-7 on New Year’s Day in 1929 in one of the most memorable Rose Bowl games ever played.
Cal All-American Roy Riegel picked up a Georgia Tech fumble and raced 65 yards -- the wrong way -- before he was tackled by one of his own players at his 1-yard line. Two players later Georgia Tech blocked a punt, resulting in a safety, giving the Yellow Jackets a 2-0 lead, which provided the winning margin. Riegel forever became known as “Wrong Way” Roy.
Georgia’s lone appearance in the Rose Bowl came on New Year’s Day in 1943 when Charlie Trippi rushed for 130 yards on 35 carries to lead the Bulldogs to a 9-0 win over UCLA. Trippi, who was the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 1946, is a member of the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame. Georgia also had the Heisman Trophy winner in 1942 in “Flatfoot” Frankie Sinkwich. The Bulldogs were the named national champions in six different polls in 1943. The 1943 Rose Bowl was back in California after a one-year stay in North Carolina.
The 1942 game was played in Durham, N.C., on the Duke campus. It was originally slated to be cancelled because of the fear of a Japanese attack on the West Coast following the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, but on Dec. 16, Duke offered to host the game in Durham against Oregon State. The Beavers, two-touchdown underdogs, upset Wallace Wade’s Blue Devils 20-16.
Every major city in the country appears to want a bowl game. Of the 34 on this year’s schedule, 14 of them started after 2000.
Contact Bobby Pope at firstname.lastname@example.org