UCLA Now

Bruins seem in good shape for first Rose Bowl bid since 1999

UCLA has its best shot at the Rose Bowl in more than a decade. The Bruins have not seen Pasadena on New Year’s Day since the 1999 game.

The 15-year drought is the longest in the program since spending more than two decades without a bid from 1919 to 1941.

Big deal, Arizona can say. What’s 15 years? The Wildcats joined the then Pac-10 in 1978 and have never made it to the Rose Bowl.

Oh, they have been close, finishing in a three-way tie in 1993. UCLA went to the game. The Wildcats finished a game out of first place in 1994 and 1998 and a half-game out in 1985.

A look at Rose Bowl futility that tops the Bruins.

California

Last appeared: 1959

President: Dwight D. Eisenhower

Top of the charts: “Why” by Frankie Avalon

Footnote: Quarterback Joe Kapp’s team lost to Minnesota in the Rose Bowl. He led the Minnesota Vikings to the 1970 Super Bowl, where he lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. Big games were a problem for him. He suffered another memorable defeat playing for the guards in the 1974 movie “The Longest Yard.” Sonny Sixkiller, former Washington quarterback, was on the winning prisoners team.

Oregon State

Last appeared: 1965

President: Lyndon B. Johnson

Top of the charts: “I Feel Fine” by The Beatles

Footnote: Think the BCS was flawed? Oregon State and USC were tied atop the Athletic Assn. of Western Universities (precursor to the Pac-8). Representatives from the six schools deadlocked, 3-3, on a vote, which sent it to the tiebreaker. The Beavers went to the Rose Bowl because USC had been there more recently. Bad move -- Michigan 34, Oregon State 7. Still, the Beavers’ coach parlayed his success into another job; Tommy Prothro drifted south to UCLA.

Arizona State

Last appeared: 1997

President: Bill Clinton

Top of the charts: “Un-Break My Heart”  by Toni Braxton

Footnote: Arizona State quarterback Jake Plummer was given the nickname “The Snake” as a tribute to Jake Roberts, a pro wrestler. Roberts had taken the nickname from Oakland Raiders Ken Stabler, who was famous for pulling out games late. The nickname was diluted. Plummer’s team couldn’t emulate that in the Rose Bowl. Arizona State, with a possible national title on the line, saw Ohio State score with 19 seconds left in a 20-17 victory.

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