Your Bowl Season Companion

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff
by John Gettings

The Rose Bowl.

Click on bowl for its complete history:

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Can't remember who won the Orange Bowl in 1985? How about the Cotton Bowl in 1942? Are you wondering which team has won the most Liberty Bowl games or how many unbeaten teams have faced off in bowl games?

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A Brief History

Organizers of the Tournament of Roses Parade set off all this bowl-game hysteria when they decided a football game would be more appealing to parade watchers than a polo match.

In 1902 they invited the varsity teams from Stanford and Michigan to play on New Year's Day in Pasadena, Calif. The visiting Wolverines destroyed Stanford 49-0 in front of a crowd of 8,000 people.

Athough they made a profit, parade officials were disappointed by the lopsided game and replaced it with a chariot race the following year.

It wasn't until 1916 that parade officials stopped horsing around and made the Rose Bowl an annual game. By 1947, nine more bowl games had been established and more than 300,000 college football fans attended bowl games. The Rose Bowl had a sellout crowd of 90,000 that year, and it's been a sellout every year since.

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