The Michigan football team will be at home on New Year’s Day instead of in Pasadena smelling the roses. But the Wolverines have enjoyed many a new year in California playing for The Granddaddy of Them All. So before taking in Michigan State-Stanford later today, enjoy a stroll down memory lane with these top Michigan Rose Bowl moments.
Jan. 1, 1998 | Michigan 21, Washington State 16
MVP: QB Brian Griese (18 of 30 for 251 yards, three touchdowns, one interception)
The Cougars hadn’t played in the Rose Bowl in more than six decades, while Michigan had been there five years earlier and won. The Wolverines held a slim 14-13 lead heading into the fourth, and Michigan’s lead would hold -- even with a controversial call as time expired. The Wolverines clinched the Rose Bowl victory and national championship with the 21-16 victory. Though they would split it with Nebraska, it still stands as the last national title the Wolverines have won.
Jan. 1, 1981 | Michigan 23, Washington 6
MVP: RB Butch Woolfolk (one touchdown, 26 carries, 182 yards)
Michigan employed a bend-but-don’t-break mentality in the 1981 Rose Bowl, giving up more yards than they had all season (374) while holding the Huskies to just six points. And in what would be Bo Schembechler’s sixth trip to the Rose Bowl, he finally picked up his first victory as Michigan came out and played a stellar second half, scoring 16 unanswered points.
Jan. 1, 1902 | Michigan 49, Stanford 0
MVP: FB Neil Snow (five touchdowns, 107 yards)
It took Michigan eight days to travel from Ann Arbor to Pasadena, but the Wolverines made it completely worth it in the inaugural Rose Bowl game by pummeling Stanford, 49-0. Michigan was led by Snow and halfback Willie Heston (170 yards).
Jan.1, 2005 | Michigan 37, Texas 38
Offensive MVP: Texas QB Vince Young (16 of 28 for 180 yards, one passing, TD, one interception, 21 carries for 192 yards, four TDs)
Defensive MVP: Michigan LB LaMarr Woodley ( nine tackles, four TFL)
The 2005 game was a loss, but it marked the first time in Michigan football history that the Wolverines played Texas. It was also the first time that a Big Ten team faced a non-Pac-10 opponent in the Rose Bowl. The Longhorns got the bid as an at-large team over California, which hadn’t played in the Rose Bowl since Jan. 1, 1959. Though it was a high-scoring affair, it was Young who led a nearly perfect two-minute drill as the fourth quarter ticked down to set the Longhorns up for the game-winning field goal as time expired.
Jan. 1, 1993 | Michigan 38, Washington 31
MVP: RB Tyrone Wheatley (three touchdowns, 15 carries, 235 yards)
This was a rematch of the 1992 Rose Bowl game, in which the Huskies ran away with a 34-14 win. But this rematch ended up being more evenly matched, featuring six lead changes and 893 yards of total offense. Going into the fourth quarter, the score was tied at 31 a piece, but it was the Wolverines who were able to find the end zone, and that was good enough for the win.