A Brief History – Iowa in the Rose Bowl

The Granddaddy of them all. The Rose Bowl is easily the biggest game to any Big Ten team, regardless of how the BCS & Playoff has skewed the prestige of going. Before 1976, the only bowl game a Big Ten team could go to was The Rose Bowl. No matter how much the new age of bowl games has tried to dilute the importance of The Rose Bowl, It’s inarguable that it is the most important Big Ten bowl.


Iowa played in the 43rd Rose Bowl against the Oregon State Beavers. The team, coached by Forest Evashevski and led by quarterback Ken Ploen, beat the beavers by a score of 35-19. Iowa ended the season ranked 3rd in the nation.


Iowa played against The Cal Golden Bears. Iowa won the contest 38-12, similar to how they won two years before. Iowa took claim of the national championship that year, even though they were 2nd in the final poll which came out before the bowl game. Iowa’s claim to the championship was that LSU-the number 1 ranked team-hadn’t played good opponents due to the fact they refused to play against african-americans. Sorry, LSU, but racism doesn’t earn you national championships.


Iowa returns after a long drought of 20 straight losing seasons. Hayden Fry promised he would return Iowa to glory, and he did. The glory of that season didn’t last too long, however, because Iowa was swept by Washington 28-0. It was a hard loss for Iowa, but Fry knew that he would bring his team back to Pasadena.


The Hawks are back in California, and they’re ready for redemption from four years ago. Iowa went into the game ranked 4th. Their opponent was the 13th ranked Bruins of nearby UCLA (who didn’t play home games at the Rose Bowl at the time). Unfortunately, Iowa got behind early and couldn’t recover. They lost their second straight Rose Bowl 45-28


25 years ago come January 1, 2016, Iowa played in their most recent rose bowl. Their opponent was the Washington Huskies, and Iowa wasn’t ready to lose to them again. Unfortunately, Like the last game, Iowa was behind 33-7 at halftime. Even after a huge surge by Iowa’s offense, they couldn’t come back. Iowa lost the game 46-34. This game was the highest scoring Rose Bowl game up until 2012.

Iowa can hopefully avenge their last three losses, but I guess we will have to wait until 2016 to figure out what happens.

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