California and Southern California played at the newly-renovated Rose Bowl on Oct. 28, 1922, and since then, the Rose Bowl has been the site of numerous New Year’s Day college football games.
Eighteen Heisman Trophy winners, 28 national champions and 191 consensus All-Americans have played at Pasadena’s historic stadium and the Horned Frogs have a chance to join the list.
Head coach Gary Patterson said he does not know if his players will realize the magnitude of the game until they walk onto the field to face Wisconsin.
“To know all the players that have played there, to walk out into a stage that is, as they say, the granddaddy of them all, to be a part of something like that is very special,” the 10th-year head coach said. “And I don’t think our kids will really understand how special it is until they get a chance to go there.”
Aside from a chance to play for a national title, senior quarterback Andy Dalton said there would not be a better way to end his career as the all-time TCU wins leader.
“This is a dream come true,” he said. “You grow up wanting to play in big games like this, you always watch these games on TV and now [we] finally get an opportunity to play in the Rose Bowl, which not a lot of teams out of the Pac-10 and Big Ten have been able to do.”
Since 1947, the Rose Bowl has had a contract to take the champions from the Big Ten and Pac-10 conferences unless it was the site of the national championship game or it lost one of its two traditional teams to the title game.
Dalton said the 2006 National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl between Texas and Southern California was the Rose Bowl Game that he remembered most. That night, the image of Longhorns quarterback Vince Young eluding a Trojan defender on the way to scoring the winning touchdown became ingrained in college football history.
The Rose Bowl has not always been home to college football. After its first college football game in 1902 was a 49-0 blowout, Roman-style chariot races replaced football for the next 14 years until the Tournament of Roses Association permanently reinstated football.
Outside of football and chariots, the Rose Bowl played host to nearly 100,000 fans who watched U2 perform and Brandi Chastain’s Women’s World Cup-winning penalty kick against China in 1999.
Multimedia also has grown up at “The Granddaddy of Them All.” The Rose Bowl Game was the first transcontinental radio broadcast of a sporting event in 1927, the first national telecast of a college football game in 1952 and the first nationwide color telecast of a college football match in 1962.
TCU will be the first team from a non-automatic qualifying conference to play at the Rose Bowl in the Bowl Championship Series era.
“Going and playing at the Rose Bowl is a big honor, and I know there’s a lot of big name teams that have played there,” linebacker Tank Carder said. “It’s just an honor for TCU to be a part of that.”