The first bowl game in history served as a cash grab to, as odd as it sounds by today’s standards, lure people to California for the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. The association dangled $6,000 total to convince the Stanford Cardinal and Michigan Wolverines to clash in the 1902 Tournament East-West Rose Bowl. Neil Snow contributed five TD runs – forward passes were still illegal in those days – to a Michigan cause that amounted to 27 first downs and 527 rushing yards. Stanford fumbled nine times, five first downs and a 24-67-0 rushing line. The beatdown was so severe that the association kicked football from the future schedule lasting until 1916, in place of racing events that featured chariots and ostriches. The embarrassment was so great for Stanford that they folded their football program for over a decade.
The rules for that match were quite a bit different from the current game of football that brings about the competitive bone in each of us. However, adjusting to the adoption of those wacky rules would be a walk in the park in comparison to what we have in store for us with the growing opt-out list for the 80 teams in participation in the postseason action. Top prospects sitting out their program’s bowl matchup in order to prepare for the following year’s draft are always the expectation. That said, in this analyst’s opinion, the list of collegiates entering their name in the transfer portal is more lengthy than in recent seasons. The allure of NIL dollar compensation is no doubt at the heart of that reality. Several of the individuals entering into the portal would have drawn serious NFL interest in the draft. We can thank the life-changing money being tossed around by the collectives.
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