In a sweep for the Big Ten, the three finalists for the Rose Bowl Game All-Century Class of the 1950s were named in an emailed press release on Sunday, Oct. 20. They are Alan Ameche (Wisconsin), Woody Hayes (Ohio) and Bob Jeter (Iowa). The remaining nominees, chosen by the Football Writers Association of America for the 100th playing of the Granddaddy of Them All, will be announced each week by decade; the details of the selection and schedule have been posted in this column.
USC may have won the 1953 Rose Bowl Game, but the University of Wisconsin fielded one of the great players of all time, Alan Ameche. He racked up 133 yards on 28 carries, including one 54-yard run in the third quarter. A Badger fumble two plays later cost them the game by turning the ball over to USC for the only touchdown. Ameche was known as “The Iron Horse” because he could routinely play 55 of the 60 minutes in a game. In his career at Wisconsin, he achieved 3,345 yards in rushing and won the 1954 Heisman Trophy. Honors include being inducted into the College Football Hal of Fame, Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, Italian American Sports Hall of Fame the 2004 Rose Bowl Hall of Fame. His number 35 is one of six honored numbers at the University of Wisconsin.
Ohio State coach Woody Hayes is one of only three coaches to take his team to four consecutive Rose Bowl Games (1973-76) and is enshrined in the history of the conflict. He faced off against John McKay and the USC Trojans for the first three games (1-2 record), and lost to Dick Vermeil and the UCLA Bruins in his final Rose Bowl Game. Three of his four Rose Bowl Game wins led to national championships for Ohio State. With eight Rose Bowl appearances as a head coach, Hayes ranks second, behind rival Bo Schembechler, who made 10 (six of which were after Hayes stopped coaching). Hayes is a member of the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame 1989 class.
In the 1959 Rose Bowl Game, Iowa halfback Bob Jeter blasted the Rose Bowl Game record books. In Iowa's 38-12 win over California (Berkeley), the Hawkeyes rushed for 429 yards, with 194 of them being Jeter’s. The yardage was amassed with only nine carries, for an average of 21.6 yards per carry, including an 81-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. He was voted Player of the Game for his performance. During his college career, Jeter netted 1,016 yards for a 5.9 yard per carry average. He was inducted into the 1994 Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.
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