Stanford Should Return To The Rose Bowl If Colorado Loses To Huskies
By Dave Levine
Who wants to see a team that just lost to a Top 5 team play in The Rose Bowl? Shouldn’t that historic bowl feature “winning teams” and by that, I mean RECENTLY winning teams? A team that loses the Pac-12 Championship Game may have a better record than, say, Stanford (Colorado would be 10-3 if they lose to Washington) with Stanford at 9-3 and Colorado whupped Stanford when the two played this year. But losing to Washington should not give Colorado the gift of playing in The Rose Bowl.
Stanford won its last 5 games in a row since losing to Colorado. They’re a different team as they have a different, more talented quarterback at the helm with a rocket arm and the ability to run 60 yards for touchdowns. And their All American running back Christian McCaffrey is all healed and is once again destroying the opposition. Granted, none of those 5 wins came against Top 25 teams but it’s still impressive. Moreover, both their excellent starting cornerbacks were out with injuries when they played Colorado. Since one of them returned (Meeks), they’ve won 5 straight games.
If Colorado loses to Washington tonight and is then selected as the Pac-12 team for The Rose Bowl, it will be a good game but “the magic” will be taken out of that game.
There is a lot of pressure by USC alumni on the Rose Committee to pick the 9-3 Trojans because they haven’t played in that game for some years, but that’s a horrible excuse to select them and on a number of fronts. First and most importantly, Stanford is 9-3 and beat USC this year at USC. While the Trojans beat Colorado, they were a 2-3 team when they won. And while USC also beat a weak Notre Dame team at home in Southern California, Stanford beat Notre Dame in South Bend.
Some would say “More importantly, Stanford has a more exciting team with McCaffrey” but that’s putting USC wide receiver-great Juju Smith-Shuster down and he is truly an amazing talent. However, not really–McCaffrey does a lot more position-wise than Smith-Shuster and was the Heisman runner-up last year.
The real reason USC is been mentioned of course are their many alumni and large numbers of fans who will pay big bucks to attend The Rose Bowl. Stanford alumni/fans are considered “fair weather fans”. If money is the reason, then that should be made clear and it would be a slap in the Stanford team’s faces. And besides, The Rose Bowl will make a fortune this time around whether Stanford or USC plays because both have exciting teams that should be favored to beat the Big Ten opponent.
Some people want to see Stanford play Iowa again, this time in the Holiday Bowl. Iowa is 8-4 and beat Michigan (barely) this year. They are healthier than they were in last year’s Rose Bowl blowout by Stanford. While I agree that this would be a good game, I’d much rather see Stanford in The Rose Bowl. What a way that would be for McCaffrey to end his college career!