Thursday, August 09, 2007

Apparently, a 50+ Year Pattern is not "Tradition"

Since this is apparently my first Defend Michigan Day since the aftermath of Florida's selection to play Ohio State (and that turned out so well for my credibility), I suppose I'll point out that the Big Ten's claim that it has a traditional tie to the Rose Bowl is "bogus." Hmmm. From 1947 until 2001, the Rose Bowl game was exclusively the champion of the Big Ten against the champion of the Pac Ten. According to our charming friends at Rambling Racket, 54 years is insufficient to establish a tradition. That reasoning is wretched. Apparently, because the Pac Ten's tie to the Rose Bowl is longer (at least on a consistent basis; the first Rose Bowl was, shockingly enough, a game between Michigan and Stanford), they have a claim to the tradition of the game and the Big Ten does not. By that standard, Rutgers and Princeton have a claim to football tradition and no one else does because they have been playing football longer than any other program. By that standard, African-Americans cannot claim to have any tradition in connection with to Southern major-conference college football because they have been playing since the 50s and before that time, major-conference teams in the South were all white.

And yes, I do find it amusing to be lectured on tradition by a program that has a past, but no present. Georgia Tech hasn't played in a major bowl game since the 1966 Orange Bowl. Its fan base is not exactly well-positioned to lecture on what conferences or teams do and don't have ties to major bowls. I have a sneaking suspicion that fans of Michigan (16 appearances since Georgia Tech last made a major bowl) or Ohio State (9 appearances since Georgia Tech last made a major bowl) feel a greater connection to the Rose Bowl than fans of Georgia Tech. Heck, I might even be so sassy as to say that those teams have a traditional tie to the game, even if the game was once played in Durham because of fear of Zeros.

10 comments:

Fox said...

That's one of the dumbest things I've ever seen: how can you have a traditional tie to something you couldn't have been invited to for teh last 50+ years. Nice find, Mikey.

Jeff said...

Okay, "bogus" was definitely a poor choice of word, despite my using it twice. Really the post should have been more a discussion of my personal opposition to hard-and-fast conference/bowl tie-ins in general, rather than of the Big 10/Rose Bowl relationship specifically.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that the first Rose Bowl was a Big Ten-Pac 10 matchup: Michigan against Stanford. After Michigan's 49-0 romp, Big Ten teams became collectively unwelcome in Pasadena for a long time, until the series was relaunched in 1947.

Anonymous said...

Oops, you did mention it.

Mogre said...

Normally I'm on board, but isn't it missing the point to talk about tech not having been in a major bowl since '66 when they were co-natl champs in '90?

Michael said...

Tech's co-national title came in one of the weirdest years for college football in recent memory. It ranks right up there with BYU '84. Tech won in 1990 because every good team in college football lost two games. The fact that they had to split a title with a 10-1-1 Colorado team that got a 5th down to beat Missouri and a questionable clipping call to beat Notre Dame should tell you a lot. (Bill McCartney's decision to punt the ball to the Rocket in a game that his defense was dominating was one of the dumbest decisions in recorded history.) They won the national title in the Citrus Bowl, for G-d sakes!

Ryno said...

Footie starts tomorrow!

Will you watch any of the EPL action? (I refuse to call it BPL even though Barclay's bought the rights)

asimperson said...

They were stuck in the Citrus bowl due to contractual obligations at the time. UVA, a team they beat, ended up in a better bowl because of this.

Today, GT would've played Colorado no question.

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