COLLEGE FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : ROSE BOWL : Michigan’s Moeller: No One Will Be Better Than the Winner in Pasadena

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Michigan Coach Gary Moeller and his Big Ten champion football team arrived in Pasadena on Wednesday to prepare for their Rose Bowl assignment against Washington. Moeller brought smiles to Tournament of Roses officials when he put the New Year’s Day game in perspective.

“The team that wins this game will be as good as anybody else,” he said. “How the polls stack up, I don’t care. If we beat Washington in the Rose Bowl, there’s nobody better than we are.”

Moeller also said: “This Washington team might be as good as any time I’ve ever seen on film.


Undefeated Washington (11-0) is ranked No. 2 behind Miami. Michigan is 10-1.

The Wolverines are staying at the Doubletree Hotel in Pasadena. It is the first time a Rose Bowl team has stayed in the city since 1984. Until then, the Big Ten team stayed every year at the Huntington Hotel, now the Ritz-Carlton Huntington. Under a new agreement between the Tournament of Roses Assn. and the Big Ten and Pacific 10 conferences, one team each year will stay in Pasadena. They will alternate years, with the Pac-10 team at the Doubletree next year.

Michigan will begin practice today at Citrus College in Glendora, which has been the training ground 11 times for Big Ten teams before Rose Bowl games. Since Iowa practiced there for the 1986 game, however, Big Ten teams have stayed in Orange County and worked out at UC Irvine or Cal State Long Beach.

Eight Wolverines, headed by Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard, were named to the Associated Press’ all-Big Ten team. Howard, a wide receiver, was named offensive player of the year. Also on the offensive team were quarterback Elvis Grbac, running back Ricky Powers, guard Matt Elliott, tackle Greg Skrepanek and kicker J.D. Carlson. The defensive selections were tackle Mike Evans and linebacker Erick Anderson, who shared defensive player of the year honors with defensive back Troy Vincent of Wisconsin.