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Rose Bowl, 1947

Written by Angela Jordan

The Rose Bowl, nicknamed “The Granddaddy of Them All,” has been played on January 1 or 2 every year since 1916. The Big Ten (then the Big Nine) did not allow their schools to participate in bowl games, until a Pacific Coast Conference agreement for the 1947 Rose Bowl. In the first Rose Bowl under the Big Nine-PCC agreement, the University of Illinois routed UCLA, 45-14, in an unexpected victory.

Ray Eliot, 1959. Found in record series 28/3/23
Ray Eliot, 1959. Found in record series 28/3/23

Winning head football coach Ray Eliot (Raymond Eliot Nusspickel, 1931) succeeded legendary Bob Zuppke in 1942 with little fanfare. The athletic board searched for seventy-two days before settling upon Eliot, and according to Tom Siler, “the applause was less than deafening.”[1] Though a non-entity to the public, the players were elated. His squad, predominantly war veterans, responded well to Ray Eliot’s principle: “This is your team; the coaches are only the guides.”[2]

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