ROSE BOWL: MICHIGAN 22, USC 14 : Rose Bowl Notes : Win Makes Retiring Duke Feel Like a King

Times Sports Editor

Wayne Duke, retiring commissioner of the Big Ten Conference, was brought to tears in the press box by Michigan’s 22-14 victory over USC.

As commissioner for the last 18 years, Duke has been an easy target for those who have criticized the Big Ten’s recent lack of success in the Rose Bowl. But now his conference has won its last two Rose Bowls, Michigan State beating USC last year, and Duke couldn’t have received a better retirement present.

“Lots of people are shaking my hand,” Duke said, “but you know what, I didn’t throw one block or make one tackle.”

In the category of outdated jokes, there’s this one that was making the rounds before the game: Why does Bo Schembechler eat his cereal off a plate? Because if he put it in a bowl, he’d lose it.


Times staff writer Shav Glick, 68, who helped cover Monday’s Rose Bowl, saw his first Rose Bowl game 57 years ago, when USC beat Tulane in 1932. After that game, Glick saw 20 of the next 21 games.

Michigan defensive tackle Mark Messner’s thoughts on playing against USC’s Aaron Emanuel: “I didn’t like it much. I hit him square on one time, and the next thing I know, he was 4 yards downfield.”

Messner said he missed Leroy Hoard’s 61-yard breakaway run for Michigan.

“We were all huddled around Coach Carr,” Messner said, referring to Lloyd Carr, the defensive coordinator. “We’re supposed to be concentrating on our huddle, so if we even stand up he gets a little mad. We heard the crowd go crazy, but nobody moved. We didn’t get to see it at all.”

Messner’s impression of playing against USC’s John Guerrero, a 320-pound tackle: “They passed so much that it was hard to get a good idea of just how good he is. But he certainly is classy. He’d help you up, tell you you made a good play.

“Matter of fact, the entire USC team was classy. Some teams, you are out there and there is lots of talking and bad-mouthing. There was none of that with USC.”

When Rodney Peete turned a broken play into a 23-yard gain in the second quarter, it was the Trojan quarterback’s longest run of the season--by a yard. Peete wound up with 31 net yards in 5 carries and, like player of the game Hoard, 2 touchdowns.

One of the few mistakes by Michigan was a dropped pass by split end Greg McMurtry on the USC 15. Quarterback Demetrius Brown hurled the ball nearly 50 yards in the air, a perfect strike, but it slipped through McMurtry’s hands for an error.

Hopefully, no baseball scouts were in the Rose Bowl. McMurtry is such a hot baseball prospect that he was offered $172,000 to sign out of high school by the Boston Red Sox after they made him their No. 1 draft choice.

How’s this for a firing technique? A Big Ten source said Monday that the University of Wisconsin’s football troubles may have very well started a year ago, when Athletic Director Elroy Hirsch, the Crazy Legs of Rams’ fame, was called into the office of the interim chancellor and told to sign a sheet of paper that was, in essence, his resignation.

This season, Wisconsin went 1-10 in football and its once-proud attendance showing, always around the 70,000 average mark despite a series of weak teams, slipped below the 50,000 average mark.

Times staff writers Tracy Dodds and Shav Glick contributed to this story.