For the 105th time, two college football teams will meet shortly in the Granddaddy of Them All. It marks the 20th game since the UCLA Bruins last appeared in the Rose Bowl Game.
This year, we’re back to a traditional matchup as the #6 Big Ten champion Ohio State Buckeyes will face the #9 Pac-12 champion Washington Huskies today in Pasadena.
Much of the pregame coverage has been focused on Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer. That’s because Meyer has decided to step down as the head coach of the Buckeyes following today’s game. He will be replaced by offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day next season. Day is a former assistant of UCLA head coach Chip Kelly, having played for Kelly at New Hampshire and coached under Kelly at New Hampshire as well as the Eagles and the 49ers.
It’s been a tumultuous season for the Buckeyes. It all started off with Meyer embroiled in controversy over whether he knew about spousal abuse allegations against former assistant Zach Smith, prior to Smith’s termination. After an independent investigation, Meyer was suspended for the first three games of the season. Meanwhile, Day served as the interim head coach.
In October, it was revealed that Meyer has an enlarged congenital brain cyst which has caused Meyer to have, what USA Today called, “aggressive” headaches, a condition which “played a role in him dropping to his knees in an Oct. 6 game against Indiana.” At the time, Meyer said that he planned to keep coaching as long as he could and that he planned to coach the Buckeyes in 2019.
On December 4, it was announced that Meyer will step down as head coach of the Buckeyes will staying on as an assistant athletic director.
Overall, it was a good season for the Bucks. Their lone loss came on October 20th when Purdue beat them, 49-20. As the winners of the Big Ten East, they met Big Ten West champ Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship Game where they dispatched the Wildcats, 45-24 to head to today’s game.
Meanwhile, the Pac-12 champs come into the Rose Bowl looking for some respect for the conference. Chris Petersen’s Huskies started off the season with a loss to Auburn. After the UCLA Bruins almost beat them at the Rose Bowl, they lost to Oregon in overtime the following week, 30-27. The Huskies’ only other loss this season came two weeks later when they lost to UC Berkeley 12-10.
The Huskies won the Pac-12 North by beating Washington State in the Apple Cup, 28-15, and they then went on to beat Pac-12 South champ Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game by a score of 10-3 to send them to this year’s Rose Bowl.
Are you backing the Pac and cheering for the Huskies or rooting for the Buckeyes today? Let us know in the comments below. This is your 105th Rose Bowl Game open thread.