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Topic: Why were there periods of Rose Bowl domination by the Big and the Pac?

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medinabuckeye1

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I break the Rose Bowl series into eras as follows:

The early era, 1947-1959 Rose Bowls, 1946-1958 seasons:

  • 12-1 BigTen
  • 3-0 Ohio State
  • 2-0 Michigan State
  • 2-0 Illinois
  • 2-0 Iowa
  • 2-0 Michigan
  • 1-0 Northwestern
  • 0-1 Wisconsin
The BigTen absolutely dominated the Rose Bowl in the early years of the Big/Pac agreement.  The only loss was a one TD loss by #11 Wisconsin to #5 USC in the 1953 game.  

I can't find a source for it right now but after his first Rose Bowl win, Woody said something to the effect that tOSU's opponent (USC) was a pretty good team that would finish third or fourth in our league.  The West Coasters obviously saw that as insulting but given the BigTen's domination of the early Rose Bowls, Woody was probably right.  The BigTen was just a lot better.  

The 60's, 1960-1969 Rose Bowls, 1959-1968 seasons:
  • 5-5 split
  • 1-0 Illinois
  • 1-0 Michigan
  • 1-0 Purdue
  • 1-0 Ohio State
  • 1-1 Minnesota
  • 0-1 Michigan State
  • 0-1 Indiana
  • 0-2 Wisconsin

In this period the two leagues split 5-5 with some great wins and NC's each way.

The Big2/Little8 era, 1970-1987 Rose Bowls, 1969-1986 seasons:
  • 2-16 Pac domination
  • 1-7 Michigan
  • 1-6 Ohio State
  • 0-2 Iowa
  • 0-1 Illinois
Yikes!  This was BAD.  In our defense there were a slew of close losses but at the end of the day they were losses and there were blowouts as well.  Two wins in almost 20 years is just pathetic no matter how you slice it.  

The end of the Big/Pac, 1988-2001 Rose Bowls, 1987-2000 seasons:
  • 9-5 Big
  • 3-0 Wisconsin
  • 1-0 Michigan State
  • 1-0 Penn State
  • 1-0 Ohio State
  • 3-2 Michigan
  • 0-1 Iowa
  • 0-1 Northwestern
  • 0-1 Purdue

On January 1, 1988 Michigan State became the first BigTen team other than tOSU or M to win the Rose Bowl since Purdue on January 2, 1967.  That started a trend of the BigTen getting back not quite to the 1950's heights but at least winning more often than they lost.  

I don't really look at the Rose Bowls since 2002 as being in the same category as the ones from 1947-2001 because starting with 2002 a Big11Ten/B1G Champion vs Pac Champion match-up has become the exception rather than the rule:
  • 02 RB was BCSNCG
  • 03 Big11Ten Champ tOSU was in BCSNCG
  • 04 PAC Champ USC beat Big Champ M
  • 05 PAC Champ USC was in BCSNCG
  • 06 RB was BCSNCG
  • 07 Big11Ten Champ tOSU was in BCSNCG
  • 08 Big11Ten Champ tOSU was in BCSNCG
  • 09 PAC Champ USC beat Big Champ PSU
  • 10 Big Champ tOSU beat PAC Champ Oregon
  • 11 PAC Champ unavailable
  • 12 Pac Champ Oregon beat Big Champ Wisconsin
  • 13 Pac Champ Stanford beat Big Champ Wisconsin
  • 14 Big Champ MSU beat PAC champ Stanford
  • 15 RB was CFP
  • 16 Big Champ MSU in CFP
  • 17 Pac Champ USC beat B1G Champ PSU
  • 18 RB was CFP
  • 19 Big Champ tOSU beat PAC champ Washington
  • 20 Big Champ tOSU in CFP
  • 21 RB was CFP
  • 22 Big Champ tOSU beat Pac Champ Utah


847badgerfan

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I think a big part of that major down period was the result of a lot of the Big Ten schools de-emphasizing athletics at that time. 

So, the Big 2 weren't really that good. The other 8 were just plain bad and gave the Big 2 inflated records.

What are your thoughts?
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rolltidefan

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sports in general, but specifically cfb, are cyclical. teams go through cycles, therefore conferences go through cycles.

be it coaching changes, rules changes that some teams adapt to quicker than others, population shifts, whatever it is that forces it or sets it in motion, cycles happen.

nil/portal stuff will prove to be a large shift, changing cycles for almost all teams, i suspect.

medinabuckeye1

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I think a big part of that major down period was the result of a lot of the Big Ten schools de-emphasizing athletics at that time.

So, the Big 2 weren't really that good. The other 8 were just plain bad and gave the Big 2 inflated records.

What are your thoughts?
There was some of that even at the Big2.  In the 1961 season Ohio State won the league, final records:
  • 6-0 Ohio State (didn't play MN, MSU, PU)
  • 6-1 Minnesota (lost to UW; didn't play tOSU, IU)
  • 5-2 Michigan State (lost to MN, PU; didn't play tOSU, IA)
  • 4-2 Purdue (lost to MN, M; didn't play tOSU, UW)
  • 4-3 Wisconsin (lost to tOSU, MSU, IA; didn't play PU, M)
  • 3-3 Michigan
  • 2-4 Iowa
  • 2-4 Northwestern
  • 0-6 Indiana
  • 0-7 Illinois

Wow what a goofy schedule.  The Buckeyes, Wolverines, Hawkeyes, Wildcats, and Hoosiers played six games (missing three) while everybody else played seven (missing two).  Ohio State won the league with their undefeated record but that isn't very convincing since they didn't play the teams with the next three best records.  Anyway, the BigTen/Pac/Rose Bowl contract had expired so the Buckeyes were not contractually obligated to go to the Rose Bowl and the tOSU Faculty Council voted to decline the Rose Bowl's invitation.  Thus, the Rose Bowl invited runner-up Minnesota who beat UCLA 21-3.  

What makes this even odder is that, at the time, the BigTen had a no repeat rule in effect so if the Gophers had won the league they wouldn't have been eligible because they lost the previous seasons' Rose Bowl to the Huskies.  

Sorry for the diversion, back to your underlying question:
First, I don't think the Big2 were all that bad.  As I've elaborated in the past I firmly believe that the Buckeyes and Wolverines (in that order) were the two best teams in the country in 1973.  They tied in Ann Arbor and the Buckeyes drilled USC (42-21) in the Rose Bowl.  Later, in the 1975 season the Buckeyes pounded UCLA 41-20 in the Rose Bowl (stadium, not game) in October then inexplicably lost to those very same Bruins in the Rose Bowl (Stadium and game) a few months later, 23-10.  

Also, if you look at scores, the BigTen reps were generally competitive.  The two BigTen wins were both blowouts (tOSU by 21 over USC in the 1974 Rose Bowl and Michigan by 17 over Washington in the 1981 Rose Bowl).  Then there were:
  • Three one point losses (tOSU, M2x)
  • One three point loss (tOSU)
  • Four seven point losses (M4x)
  • An eight point loss (M)
  • Two 10 point losses (tOSU, M)
  • A 13 point loss (tOSU)
  • A 17 point loss (Iowa)
  • A 25 point loss (tOSU)
  • A 28 point loss (Iowa)
  • A 36 point loss (Illinois)

Three of the worst four losses including the worst two losses were by "little 8" teams that made it.  The Buckeyes and Wolverines combined for NINE one score losses and only one loss by more than two scores.  I think that suggests that the Big 2 weren't all that bad.  

I think we also have to give some credit to the Pac.  Most of these losses were to very good opponents.  The victorious Pac teams came into the Rose Bowl ranked:
  • #1
  • #3 thrice
  • #5 thrice
  • #7
  • #11
  • #12 twice
  • #13 twice
  • #16
  • #18
  • unranked

Also, I think the PAC's natural home field advantage contributed.  The 16 PAC winners in that period were:
  • USC x7
  • UCLA x4
  • Stanford x2 (the Indians back then)
  • Washington x2
  • ASU
So 11 of the 16 losses were to teams from LA and a total of 13 were to teams from California.  That is basically a road game.  The thing is that this obviously doesn't explain why the Pac sucked in the 50's then was dominant in the 70's.  

Finally, I think the era was different.  I'm sure that Woody and Bo and their players wanted to win the Rose Bowl but remember that at the beginning of this Bowls were still seen as exhibitions by a lot of people.  That and the intense focus on THE GAME and winning the BigTen, I think, made it nearly impossible to be at maximum intensity for a game that just wasn't as important to the people involved.  


medinabuckeye1

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sports in general, but specifically cfb, are cyclical. teams go through cycles, therefore conferences go through cycles.

be it coaching changes, rules changes that some teams adapt to quicker than others, population shifts, whatever it is that forces it or sets it in motion, cycles happen.

nil/portal stuff will prove to be a large shift, changing cycles for almost all teams, i suspect.
I thought about population shifts and I'm sure that was part of it:  





In 1950 there were more people living in the City of Cleveland than in the entire state of Arizona and more people living in the City of Detroit than in either Arizona or Oregon (and close to as many as both combined).  

I'm sure this is part of it but the PAC area didn't stop growing in the mid-80's.  

Brutus Buckeye

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I don't really look at the Rose Bowls since 2002 as being in the same category as the ones from 1947-2001 because starting with 2002 a Big11Ten/B1G Champion vs Pac Champion match-up has become the exception rather than the rule:
  • 02 RB was BCSNCG
  • 03 Big11Ten Champ tOSU was in BCSNCG
  • 04 PAC Champ USC beat Big Champ M
  • 05 PAC Champ USC was in BCSNCG
  • 06 RB was BCSNCG
  • 07 Big11Ten Champ tOSU was in BCSNCG
  • 08 Big11Ten Champ tOSU was in BCSNCG
  • 09 PAC Champ USC beat Big Champ PSU
  • 10 Big Champ tOSU beat PAC Champ Oregon
  • 11 PAC Champ unavailable
  • 12 Pac Champ Oregon beat Big Champ Wisconsin
  • 13 Pac Champ Stanford beat Big Champ Wisconsin
  • 14 Big Champ MSU beat PAC champ Stanford
  • 15 RB was CFP
  • 16 Big Champ MSU in CFP
  • 17 Pac Champ USC beat B1G Champ PSU
  • 18 RB was CFP
  • 19 Big Champ tOSU beat PAC champ Washington
  • 20 Big Champ tOSU in CFP
  • 21 RB was CFP
  • 22 Big Champ tOSU beat Pac Champ Utah


The worst was that year when OSU and USC played one another in Jerry World, both as conference champions. 
1919, 20, 21, 28, 29, 31, 34, 35, 36, 37, 42, 44
WWH: 1952, 54, 55, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 67, 68, 70, 72, 74, 75
1979, 81, 82, 84, 87, 94, 98
2001, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

OrangeAfroMan

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At first, I simply want to say "USC."
.
Then I want to say that in annual contests over many years, there will be random streaks, a la:
the NL won 19 of 20 all-star games in MLB during the 60s and 70s, for no real tangible reason
the AL had a 13 game streak more recently (including the tie)
.
In the Super Bowl, the NFC had a 13-game win streak in the 80s and 90s.  No real reason there, it was by 6 diff franchises.
.
Runs just happen.  It could be the case with the RB.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2022, 05:12:53 AM by OrangeAfroMan »
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FearlessF

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I blame Bo
"Courage; Generosity; Fairness; Honor; In these are the true awards of manly sport."

847badgerfan

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Pelini?
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