January 1, 1902
Michigan 49, Stanford 0
1st Rose Bowl Game
Tournament Park, Pasadena, California
The Tournament of Roses Parade was first held in 1890 in hopes of luring wealthy Americans from the the East to showcase their beautiful weather. Activities included ostrich races, polo matches and bronco busting demonstrations. As the tournament grew, marching bands and motorized floats were added to make the parade something special.
In 1901 a member of the tournament committee suggested a football game, and the Wolverines were invited because they were undefeated, labeled the “best team in the West” and had yet to allow a point.
It was Fielding Yost’s first season as Michigan’s coach, but he was also known on the west coast for coaching Stanford the previous year. Coincidentally, Stanford would be Michigan’s opponent, already laying claim to the “Pacific Coast Universities” championship.
The Wolverines spent a week getting to the west coast, and took most of the first half getting acclimated to the 80-degree temperatures. Neil Snow finally scored for Michigan in the 23rd minute making it 17-0 at the half and 49-0. when Stanford called it quits with eight minutes to play.
The one-sided game prompted the tournament organizers to table the football experiment for 16 years and Michigan wasn’t invited back until 1948.
Yost, meanwhile, was a tremendous success at Michigan. His first four seasons netted a 43-0-1 record, four conference titles and four national championships. The Wolverines outscored their opponents 2326-40.
Next: 34th Rose Bowl Game