The Rose Bowl Game is one of six major College Football bowl games that takes place on or around January 1st. The game is held in the Rose Bowl stadium, in Pasadena, California. In the past, the game crowned the National College Football champion several times. In 2014, the Rose Bowl became part of the College Football Playoffs (CFP) alongside the Cotton Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Peach Bowl, and the Sugar Bowl. All those Bowl Games rotate to host one of two National College Football semi-finals every three years. The Rose Bowl hosted its first semi-final in 2015.
The Rose Bowl has a conference tie-in with the Pac-12 and Big-10 conferences, and so whenever it is not hosting a National College Football semi-final, it traditionally brings together the champions of those two conferences. The game is affectionately nicknamed "the granddaddy of them all", as it is the oldest College Football Bowl Game in existence.
The Rose Bowl was born in 1902 as the "Tournament East-West football game", as it aimed to put the best College Football team from the East coast against the best college football team from the West coast. The game was nothing more than a way to raise money for the "Rose Parade", a parade of flowers that had been happening since 1890. Since 1902 the game has outgrown the parade, and now it is recognized worldwide; but the parade remains a tradition, going around the streets of Pasadena the morning of the Rose Bowl game.
The first game was played January 1st, 1902 between Stanford and the University of Michigan. The first edition was not considered to be much of a success, Michigan easily beat Stanford 49-0. It was only in 1916 that the second edition of the Rose Bowl was played. The first editions of the Rose Bowl were played on the Tournament Park until in 1923 the Rose Bowl stadium was built. The venue continues to host the event with the same name since that year.
In 1998 the Rose Bowl became part of the Bowl Championship Series, a successful agreement that lasted 16 years. After that time the Rose Bowl became part of the College Football Playoff series. In that period the event was chosen as College Football National Championship game in 2002, and 2006.
The tradition, the glamour of Southern California, the great stage, and the history of remarkably exciting games makes the Rose Bowl one the most desired bowl games by football players and coaches. The winning team gets to take home some Rose Bowl championship rings, the famous Leishman trophy, and a pay-out of approximately 18 million dollars. Prestigious football programs such as UCLA, Ohio State, Michigan, Texas, and Alabama have won the Rose Bowl; USC is the team that has won it the most, with 24 titles in 33 appearances.