The Rose Bowl is known as the “granddaddy of them all” because of its prestige, rich history, and striking beauty. Set amongst the San Gabriel Mountains and placed in the ritzy neighborhoods of the Arroyo Seco, the setting is timeless and leaves a lasting impression. Arguably college football’s most picturesque view occurs as the sunset illuminates the mountains adjacent to the Rose Bowl, while outlining this colorfully grand arena. It’s one of perfection’s rare visits.
A Rose Bowl black out set the stage for the Bruins, who were in must-win mode. A season filled with playoff aspirations has taken a few punches to the jaw. A win over the ranked Cal Bears would bring a little more postseason attention in UCLA’s direction.
T-shirts around the stadium proclaimed, “Fill the Bill,” and the purple followers came through. The crowd sent rumbles through the Great Plains as Kansas State took the field in front of a record opening day home crowd. As if there wasn’t enough roar in the crowd to start the game, Harley Day in Manhattan sent more noise bouncing off the walls of Bill Snyder Stadium. With Snyder’s return to the sidelines, much anticipation has grown for the Wildcats and having UCLA as an opponent only increased the excitement.
The dreadful tie with Ohio State would not keep the Badgers from focusing on the Big Ten title. Two weeks after that game, Michigan clobbered the Buckeyes leaving the door open for Wisconsin. With wins over Illinois and Michigan State (in Tokyo of all places), the Badgers completed one of the most improbable runs in college football history. It took thirty-one years for Wisconsin to return to the Rose Bowl, and this 1993 season would firmly plant my love for college football into the turf.