Oct 27, 2013
TWO TROJANS AND A BADGER HEADLINE 1960’S GROUP OF FINALISTS FOR ROSE BOWL GAME ALL-CENTURY CLASS
PASADENA, Calif. – John McKay, O.J. Simpson and Ron Vander Kelen have been nominated as finalists for the Rose Bowl Game All-Century Class as representatives from the 1960’s. The candidates, as voted by an esteemed panel from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), are the sixth of a series of names that will be unveiled each Sunday throughout the remainder of the college football regular season.
In commemoration of the 100th Rose Bowl Game, the All-Century Class will highlight and honor great players and coaches throughout the history of The Granddaddy of Them All.
In his 16 years as head coach for USC, John McKay’s teams won nine Pacific-8 Conference titles. He also led the Trojans to eight Rose Bowl Game appearances, including five victories – four of which captured national titles. McKay was the first coach to take four consecutive teams to Pasadena and is tied for the most wins in Rose Bowl Game history. His eight all-time appearances in the Rose Bowl Game are tied for second all-time. McKay is well known for popularizing the I-formation and emphasized a power running game. He coached two Heisman Trophy winners and a slew of accomplished players throughout his career. McKay was a 1991 Rose Bowl Hall of Fame inductee.
One of the greatest running backs of all-time, O.J. Simpson, led the University of Southern California to a 19-2-1 record during his two-year college career, including appearances in the 1968 and 1969 Rose Bowl Games. In the 1968 game, Simpson ran USC past the Indiana Hoosiers, 14-3, earning Player of the Game honors by rushing for 128 yards on 25 carries, and scoring the game’s only two touchdowns. Simpson bettered his ’68 performance claiming the Heisman Trophy and leading the Trojans to the 1969 game. He rushed for 171 yards and a touchdown, while adding 8 receptions for 85 yards, albeit in a losing effort. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985, the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983 and was a 1993 Rose Bowl Hall of Fame inductee.
In 1963, the University of Wisconsin made a valiant effort to comeback against the USC Trojans with only 14 minutes remaining in the game. Trailing 42-14, quarterback Ron Vander Kelen lit up the scoreboard, putting 23 points up for the Badgers before time ran out. In this game, he set three Rose Bowl single-game records for pass attempts (48), pass completions (33) and yards passing (401). To many, he orchestrated a legendary fourth quarter comeback attempt against the Trojans in the first No. 1 (USC) versus No. 2 (Wisconsin) bowl game in college football history. Vander Kelen was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1991.
The FWAA voting committee will select one Rose Bowl Game representative from each decade to comprise the All-Century Class. In addition, one overall player and one overall coach will be highlighted at a press conference on Selection Sunday, which will take place on December 8, 2013, in Pasadena.
For more information on the 100th Rose Bowl Game, please visit www.tournamentofroses.com.