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CBSSports.com Senior Writer

Even with BCS in place, Rose Bowl remains hallowed ground


EDITOR'S NOTE: Through Father's Day, CBSSports.com writers will present a series of articles portraying fatherhood and sporting figures.

There is Father's Day, and then there is New Year's Day (or thereabouts). That's where Granddad comes in. More specifically, the Granddaddy of Them All. The Rose Bowl started it all in 1902, giving rise to the bowl system -- and a heck of a parade.

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Even with the introduction of the BCS, the Rose Bowl remains hallowed ground. It is the ancestral home of the Big Ten and Pac-10. Beginning in 2002, it began hosting the BCS title game every four years. That only enhanced that cool image on your TV each January -- the sun-splashed San Gabriels glowing in the background.

Who's your Granddaddy? If you're a college football fan, it's always been the Rose Bowl. Here are 10 facts to consider about the sport's first, best and oldest bowl game:

1. It's not quite certain who coined the term, "The Granddaddy of Them All", according to the bowl. Some assume that it was legendary broadcaster Keith Jackson. But as of this week a Rose Bowl spokesman said the origin of the phrase "remains somewhat of a mystery." The term's origin apparently came before Jackson was involved with the game. From 1989 through 2006 -- his last game ever -- Jackson did all but three Rose Bowls.

2. The phrase was officially trademarked on Nov. 30, 1976.

3. The granddaddy of the Granddaddy might be considered James Wagner. Elected as Tournament of Roses president prior to the first game in 1902, it was Wagner's idea to stage a football game as a way to bring fans to Pasadena. In 1889, two members of the Valley Hunt Club in Pasadena hit upon the idea of staging a parade as a way of luring people West. Pasadena back then had a population of 5,000 and was looking for more folks to buy up land to help the town grow.

4. The Granddaddy wasn't named the Rose Bowl until sportswriter Harlan Hall put the tag "Rose Bowl" on the stadium in the early '20s. The Rose then became the inspiration for the major-college postseason explosion that followed. Bowls expanded significantly during the 1930s in the heart of the Depression.

5. The first Granddaddy drew 8,000 to watch Michigan beat Stanford 49-0 on Jan. 1, 1902. The Cardinal reportedly quit with eight minutes remaining. Tournament of Roses officials were so concerned about the game's lack of competitiveness that it was cancelled for the next 12 years. In its place, officials tried chariot races, auto races, ostrich races, and even an elephant-camel race.

The site of the first game is marked by a plaque in a playground near the Caltech track. Also, if you're interested: A souvenir piece of turf ripped up from that area, stuffed in luggage and flown home from the West Coast will last about a year. Not that anyone related to this column would know.

6. The Granddaddy has been a sellout since 1945. From 1947 until the BCS era, the Big Ten champion annually played what is now the Pac-10 champion. That streak was broken in 2002 when Nebraska played Miami in the BCS title game.

7. In 1942, the Rose Bowl was played outside of Pasadena for the only time. Duke and Oregon State met in Durham, N.C. due to war restrictions on the West Coast.

8. Folks couldn't see Granddaddy regularly until 1952. That was the year the game became the first nationally televised bowl.

9. Among the Granddaddy's favorite "grandsons" are Bob Schloredt (Washington), Charles White (USC), Ron Dayne (Wisconsin) and Vince Young (Texas). Each was a two-time Rose Bowl MVP.

10. Granddaddy turns 100 in 2014. That will mark the 100th game, coming 112 years after the first.

Anyone in need of a credential from all the BCS title games? Dennis Dodd has them. In three decades in the business, he's covered everything from the Olympics to Stanley Cup to conference realignment. Just get him on campus in a press box in the fall. His heart lies with college football.

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