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2003 Rose Bowl
89th Rose Bowl Game
1 2 3 4 Total
Oklahoma 3 14 3 14 34
Washington State 0 0 0 14 14
Date January 1, 2003
Season 2002
Stadium Rose Bowl
Location Pasadena, California
MVP Nate Hybl (Oklahoma QB)
Halftime show Washington State University Cougar Marching Band, University of Oklahoma Sooner Marching Band
Attendance 86,848
Payout US$11-13 million [1]
United States TV coverage
Network ABC
Announcers Brent Musburger, Gary Danielson
Rose Bowl
 < 2002  2004

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.[2]



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.)[3] 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.[4] 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 Bowl.[4] Rose Bowl committee executive director Mitch Dorger was not pleased with the results.[4] 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.

Oklahoma Sooners

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.[5] 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.

Game summary


First quarter

  • OU - 12:13 DiCarlo 45 yard field goal

Second quarter

  • OU - 1:51 Savage 12 yard pass from Hybl (DiCarlo kick)
  • OU - 1:09 Perkins 51 yard punt return (DiCarlo kick)

Third quarter

  • OU - 8:06 DiCarlo 30 yard field goal

Fourth quarter

  • 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.


  1. ^
  2. ^ 2008 Rose Bowl Program, 2008 Rose Bowl. Accessed January 26, 2008.
  3. ^ 2002 BCS Standings
  4. ^ a b c Rosenblatt, Richard - BCS: Orange Bowl has a Rosy look Associated Press, December 9, 2002
  5. ^ Whiteside, Kelly - USC biggest question mark of teams jockeying for BCS. USA Today, December 2, 2002.

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