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2004 Rose Bowl

2004 Rose Bowl

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The 2004 Rose Bowl was a college football
College football
College football refers to American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities...

 bowl game
Bowl game
In North America, a bowl game is commonly considered to refer to one of a number of post-season college football games. Prior to 2002, bowl game statistics were not included in players' career totals and the games were mostly considered to be exhibition games involving a payout to participating...

 held on January 1, 2004 at the Rose Bowl
Rose Bowl (stadium)
The Rose Bowl is an outdoor athletic stadium in Pasadena, California, U.S., in Los Angeles County. The stadium is the site of the annual college football bowl game, the Rose Bowl, held on New Year's Day. In 1982, it became the home field of the UCLA Bruins college football team of the Pac-12...

 in Pasadena, California
Pasadena, California
Pasadena is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Although famous for hosting the annual Rose Bowl football game and Tournament of Roses Parade, Pasadena is the home to many scientific and cultural institutions, including the California Institute of Technology , the Jet...

. It was the 90th Rose Bowl Game
Rose Bowl Game
The Rose Bowl is an annual American college football bowl game, usually played on January 1 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. When New Year's Day falls on a Sunday, the game is played on Monday, January 2...

. The USC Trojans
2003 USC Trojans football team
The 2003 USC Trojans football team represented the University of Southern California in the 2003-2004 NCAA Division I-A college football season...

, champions of the Pacific-10 Conference, defeated the Michigan Wolverines
2003 Michigan Wolverines football team
The 2003 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the 2003 college football season. The team's head coach was Lloyd Carr. The Wolverines played their home games at Michigan Stadium. The team won the first of its back to back Big Ten Championships...

, champions of the Big Ten Conference
Big Ten Conference
The Big Ten Conference is the United States' oldest Division I college athletic conference. Its twelve member institutions are located primarily in the Midwestern United States, stretching from Nebraska in the west to Pennsylvania in the east...

, 28-14. USC quarterback
Quarterback
Quarterback is a position in American and Canadian football. Quarterbacks are members of the offensive team and line up directly behind the offensive line...

 Matt Leinart
Matt Leinart
Matthew Stephen Leinart , is an American professional football quarterback for the Houston Texans of the National Football League...

 was named the Rose Bowl Player of the Game.

The events leading up to the 2004 Rose Bowl were the subject of controversy. Although USC was ranked #1 in both the AP Poll
AP Poll
The Associated Press College Poll refers to weekly rankings of the top 25 NCAA teams in one of three Division I college sports: football, men's basketball and women's basketball. The rankings are compiled by polling sportswriters across the nation...

 and the Coaches Poll
Coaches Poll
The USA Today Coaches' Poll is the current name for a weekly ranking of the top 25 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision college football and Division I college basketball teams....

, the Trojans were not invited to the BCS National Championship Game
BCS National Championship Game
The BCS National Championship Game, or BCS National Championship, is the final bowl game of the annual Bowl Championship Series and is intended by the organizers of the BCS to determine the U.S. national champion of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision...

, the 2004 Sugar Bowl
2004 Sugar Bowl
The 2004 Sugar Bowl, the BCS title game for the 2003 college football season, was played on January 4, 2004 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The teams were LSU Tigers and the Oklahoma Sooners...

. Even though the Oklahoma Sooners lost on December 5, 2003 in the 2003 Big 12 Championship Game
2003 Big 12 Championship Game
The 2003 Big 12 Championship Game was played on December 6, 2003 in Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The game determined the 2003 football champion of the Big 12 Conference. The Oklahoma Sooners, winners of the South division of the Big 12, were upset by the Kansas State Wildcats, who...

 to the Kansas State Wildcats
2003 Kansas State Wildcats football team
The 2003 Kansas State Wildcats football team represented Kansas State University in the college football season of 2003-2004. The team's head football coach was Bill Snyder. The Wildcats played their home games in KSU Stadium. The team finished the season with a win-loss record of 11 and 4, and a...

, by virtue of their dominance earlier in the season, they remained #1 in the final BCS rankings
2003 NCAA Division I-A football rankings
The 2003 NCAA Division I-A football rankings describes the polls and rankings formulated by several critics and experts of college football.-BCS rankings:...

 issued at the outset of the bowl season. Oklahoma faced the LSU Tigers
2003 LSU Tigers football team
The 2003 LSU Tigers football team represented Louisiana State University in the college football season of 2003–2004. Coached by Nick Saban, the Tigers played their home games at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After a bit of controversy, LSU won the BCS National Championship, the first...

, #2 in both polls and the BCS rankings, in the Sugar Bowl.

Michigan Wolverines


Michigan opened at home in 2003 winning big over Central Michigan
Central Michigan Chippewas football
The Central Michigan Chippewas football team is a college football program in Division I FBS, representing Central Michigan University. They are a top 25 program in terms of all-time winning percentage and top five amongst all teams from non-BCS automatic qualifying conferences...

 and Houston
Houston Cougars football
The Houston Cougars football program is an NCAA Division I FBS football team that represents the University of Houston. The team is commonly referred to as "Houston" or "UH" . The UH football program is currently a member of the Conference USA intercollegiate athletic conference, and is coached by...

. A 38-0 shutout of Notre Dame
2003 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team
The 2003 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team was the college football team that represented the University of Notre Dame in the 2003 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Tyrone Willingham and played its home games at Notre Dame Stadium in Notre Dame, Indiana. The Irish...

 propelled the Wolverines to a #3 ranking, but they lost the next week at Oregon
2003 Oregon Ducks football team
-Recruiting:-Schedule:-Game 12: Oregon State:107th Civil War...

, 31-27. Michigan bounced back to beat Indiana
Indiana Hoosiers football
The Indiana Hoosiers football program represents Indiana University Bloomington in NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision college football and in the Big Ten Conference.-Bowl games:...

, but then lost another close road game at Iowa
2003 Iowa Hawkeyes football team
The 2003 Iowa Hawkeyes football team represented the University of Iowa during the 2003 college football season. Following a 2002 season that saw the Hawkeyes finish 11-2 with a Big Ten championship, expectations for a third straight post-season game were well warranted...

, 30-27. Michigan played next on a Friday evening, October 10, at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, commonly called the Metrodome, is a domed sports stadium in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. Opened in 1982, it replaced Metropolitan Stadium, which was on the current site of the Mall of America in Bloomington and Memorial Stadium on the University...

 in a battle for the Little Brown Jug against Minnesota. Minnesota came into the game ranked #17 and Michigan was ranked #20 in one of the most highly anticipated Michigan-Minnesota matchups in years. Down 21 points at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Michigan put together its greatest comeback in school history to win 38-35. The Wolverines won their next four games over Illinois
Illinois Fighting Illini football
The Illinois Fighting Illini are a major college football program, representing the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. They compete in NCAA Division I-A and the Big Ten Conference.-Current staff:-All-time win/loss/tie record:*563-513-51...

, #10 Purdue
Purdue Boilermakers football
The Purdue Boilermakers football team is the intercollegiate football program of the Purdue University Boilermakers. The program is classified in the NCAA's Division I Bowl Subdivision, and the team competes in the Big Ten Conference. The Boilermakers have an all-time record of...

, #9 Michigan State
2003 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 2003 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State University in the 2003-2004 college football season.The Spartans play their home games at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan. This was the first year for head coach John L...

, and Northwestern
Northwestern Wildcats football
The Northwestern Wildcats football team, representing Northwestern University, is a NCAA Division I team and member of the Big Ten Conference, with evidence of organization in 1876...

 and rose to #5 in the rankings before their annual showdown with the Ohio State Buckeyes
2003 Ohio State Buckeyes football team
The 2003 Ohio State Buckeyes football team represented the Ohio State University in the college football season of 2003-2004. The team's head coach was Jim Tressel. The Buckeyes played their home games in Ohio Stadium. Ohio State finished the season with a record of 11-2 and placed second in the...

. In front of a record crowd of 112,118 at Michigan Stadium
Michigan Stadium
Michigan Stadium, nicknamed "The Big House," is the football stadium for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan Stadium was built in 1927 at a cost of $950,000 and had an original capacity of 72,000. Before playing football at the stadium, the Wolverines played on Ferry Field...

, the Wolverines beat the #4 ranked Buckeyes 35-21 to win the Big Ten championship outright.

USC Trojans


The Trojans opened the season winning at #6 Auburn
2003 Auburn Tigers football team
The 2003 Auburn Tigers football team represented Auburn University in the 2003 NCAA Division I-A football season. Auburn began the season with high expectations, but stumbled out of the gate before finishing the season with a disappointing 8–5 record, including a 5–3 record in the SEC, good for...

, 23-0. Their only loss of the season was a triple overtime loss at Cal
California Golden Bears football
The California Golden Bears football team is the college football team of the University of California. The team plays its home games at California Memorial Stadium, however the team played at San Francisco's AT&T Park in 2011 while Memorial Stadium was being renovated, the team will return to...

, 34-31 on September 27. Later in the season, USC beat Notre Dame 45-14, scoring the most points allowed by the Irish in since 1960
South Bend, Indiana
The city of South Bend is the county seat of St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States, on the St. Joseph River near its southernmost bend, from which it derives its name. As of the 2010 Census, the city had a total of 101,168 residents; its Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 316,663...

, and routed Arizona
Arizona Wildcats football
The Arizona Wildcats football team is the football team of the University of Arizona, located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. The team competes in the Pacific-12 Conference at the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision level.-Early years:...

 45-0 in the first shutout of the Wildcats in 146 games.

Game summary


The Trojans wore a "54" sticker to commemorate Drean Rucker, an incoming freshman linebacker who drowned in July 2003. Former USC Trojans safety Troy Polamalu
Troy Polamalu
Troy Aumua Polamalu is an American football strong safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League. He was drafted in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Steelers. He played college football at the University of Southern California.-High school:Troy Polamalu graduated...

 also was in attendance and was on the USC sideline. He was also shown embracing coach Pete Carroll
Pete Carroll
Peter Clay Carroll is the head coach and executive Vice-President of the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. He is a former head coach of the New York Jets, New England Patriots and the University of Southern California Trojans football team.-Early life:Carroll attended Redwood High...

 at the game's end.

First quarter

  • USC - Keary Colbert
    Keary Colbert
    Patrick Keary Jerel Colbert is an American football wide receiver who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft...

    , 25-yard pass from Matt Leinart
    Matt Leinart
    Matthew Stephen Leinart , is an American professional football quarterback for the Houston Texans of the National Football League...

     (Ryan Killeen
    Ryan Killeen
    Ryan Killeen is an american football placekicker for the National Football League Seattle Seahawks' NFL Europe affiliate Amsterdam Admirals.-Professional career:...

     kick)

Third quarter

  • USC - Keary Colbert, 47-yard pass from Matt Leinart (Ryan Killeen kick)
  • Michigan - Tim Massaquoi
    Tim Massaquoi
    Arnold Timothy Massaquoi is an American football tight end who is currently a free agent. He was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He played college football at Michigan...

    , 5-yard pass from John Navarre
    John Navarre
    John Robert Navarre is a former American football quarterback who was a three-year starter for the Michigan Wolverines from 2001 to 2003, leading the Wolverines to the 2003 Big Ten Conference championship in his final year of eligibility...

     (Garrett Rivas kick)
  • USC - Matt Leinart, 15-yard pass from Mike Williams (Ryan Killeen kick)

Fourth quarter

  • Michigan - Chris Perry, 2-yard run (Garrett Rivas kick)

Aftermath


LSU defeated Oklahoma 21-14 in the Sugar Bowl. As they were contractually obligated, the Coaches Poll chose the winner of that game, the LSU Tigers, as the BCS National Champions. The AP Poll, however, selected the Rose Bowl champion USC Trojans, resulting in the first split national title since the 1997-98 season
1997 NCAA Division I-A football season
The 1997 NCAA Division I-A football season, play of college football in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association at the Division I-A level, began in late summer 1997 and culminated with the major bowl games in early January 1998. The national championship was...

, the year before the creation of the Bowl Championship Series
Bowl Championship Series
The Bowl Championship Series is a selection system that creates five bowl match-ups involving ten of the top ranked teams in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision , including an opportunity for the top two to compete in the BCS National Championship Game.The BCS relies on a combination of...

.

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