The Rose Bowl Is Running Scared

Pete MisthaufenAnalyst IAugust 10, 2009

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Mark Sanchez #6 of the USC Trojans celebrates with the trophy after defeating the Penn State Nittany Lions at the 95th Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi on January 1, 2009 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Funny thing happened at Pac-10 media days. 

The Rose Bowl showed up. 

The Tournament of Roses Committee made an appearance at Pac-10 media days and even brought the 2010 trophy to show off.

Now, this would not be an odd thing, given the Pac-10's close relationship with the Rose Bowl for generations, except that it has never happened before this year.

So, this action begs a question: Why this year?

Was it because new Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott had previously called into question the current bowl structure?

Was it because President Obama has highly criticized the BCS and supports a playoff?

Was it because of the grumblings last year among USC players about not being able to play in some other bowl game, such as the BCS Championship Game?

Was it because the Big 10 has provided second rate opponents to face USC recently?

Was it because the Rose Bowl will be required by the BCS to take the next non-Automatic Qualifier that makes it to a BCS bowl?

Or was it because the 2010 Rose Bowl will be the inferior game played in Pasadena this bowl season?

With the 2010 BCS Championship Game being played the next week, will the Rose Bowl feel the same?

Now, I love the Rose Bowl, with all of its tradition and heritage. I grew up watching Pac-10 schools dominate over the Big-10.

I have seen and written about how the Big 10 has been greatly rewarded from the BCS structure while the Pac-10 has not.  A playoff system would have helped the Pac-10 more than the BCS to obtain national championships.

Tom Hansen sold out the Pac-10 for nothing the Pac-10 did not already have; he did it to satisfy the demands of the Tournament of Roses Committee.  If the Tournament of Roses Committee is running scared, then that is a good thing. 

One institution more than any other is preventing a playoff:  The Rose Bowl.

The Rose Bowl could easily be set up as one of the three final games of a true playoff system, rotating every year. 

The game would be more important than ever. 

And people would still come to the Rose Parade every New Year's Day.