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The 2003 Rose Bowl was a college
football bowl game
played on January 1, 2003. It was the 89th Rose Bowl game. It was a match up between
the Oklahoma Sooners and the Washington
State Cougars. The game was won by Oklahoma 34-14. Nate Hybl who played Quarterback for the Sooners, was named the Rose
Bowl Player Of The Game.
Prior to the BCS, this pairing never would
have occurred. Oklahoma came into the game Big 12 Champions, while
Washington State came in co-champions of the Pac-10. The Rose Bowl
normally features the champions of the Big Ten, the Ohio State
Buckeyes and the Pac-10. However, because the Buckeyes had
finished #2 in the BCS, they were set to play in the 2003 Fiesta
Bowl for the national championship against Miami (Fla.) Earlier
in the season, Ohio State had defeated Washington State 25-7.
The Orange Bowl had the next pick after the Fiesta Bowl pairing,
and #3 (#5 BCS) Iowa was chosen. The Rose Bowl had the next BCS
selection. The next, best available team to choose was #8 (#7 BCS)
Oklahoma, who won the Big 12 Championship Game, to
play Pac-10 winner Washington State. When it came time for the
Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl to make a second pick, both wanted USC.
However, a BCS rule stated that if two bowls want the same team,
the bowl with the higher payoff has the option.
The Orange Bowl immediately extended an at-large bid to the number
5 ranked Trojans and paired them with at-large number 3 Iowa in a
Big Ten/Pac-10 "Rose Bowl" matchup in the 2003 Orange
Rose Bowl committee executive director Mitch Dorger was not pleased
with the results.
This left the Sugar Bowl with #14 BCS Florida State, the winner of
the Atlantic Coast Conference. Notre Dame at 10-2 and #9 in the BCS
standings was invited to the 2003 Gator Bowl. Kansas State at #8
also was left out.
The Sooners won the Big 12 South and defeated Colorado in the
Big 12 Championship game. Kansas State, although ranked higher in
the AP poll, lost to Colorado in the Big 12 North, and could not
play in the championship game.
Washington State Cougars
On October 5, in the 300th game for USC on live television, the
Washington State Cougars defeated the USC Trojans 30-27 in
overtime. The Cougars scored with 1:50 left to play to force
overtime. The Cougars and Trojans ended up tied for first place in
the Pac-10, but the Cougars won the tie-breaker by virtue of the
head-to-head competition victory. The final game of the season had
been moved to December 2 with Washington State at UCLA. Originally
it was thought that the Bruins would be the team playing for the
Rose Bowl. A 52-21 loss to USC put the Bruins out of contention and
the Trojans and Cougars in.
Washington State defeated UCLA 48-27 in the Rose Bowl Stadium to
advance to the Rose Bowl game. This was the final game for UCLA
head coach Bob Toledo,
who was fired following the game.
- OU - 12:13 DiCarlo 45 yard field goal
- OU - 1:51 Savage 12 yard pass from Hybl (DiCarlo kick)
- OU - 1:09 Perkins 51 yard punt return (DiCarlo kick)
- OU - 8:06 DiCarlo 30 yard field goal
- OU - 8:02 Fagan 9 yard pass from Hybl (DiCarlo kick)
- WSU - 6:08 Riley 37 yard pass from Gesser (Dunning kick)
- OU - 1:29 Griffin 19 yard run (DiCarlo kick)
- WSU - 1:15 Moore 89 yard kickoff return (Dunning kick)
Due to its untraditional match up, this game drew one of the
fewest attendance numbers in the modern history of the Rose Bowl.
It was the first time that the stadium held less than the nominal
capacity for the Rose Bowl game since before the 1947 Rose Bowl
and the agreement between the PAC-10 and Big Ten conferences. The
1944 Rose Bowl had the third smallest crowd played in the Rose Bowl
stadium at 68,000. The 1931 Rose Bowl had the second smallest crowd
at 60,000. The smallest crowd at the Rose Bowl stadium was the 1934
Rose Bowl at 35,000.