Michigan Football 1901 | gobluefootballhistory.com Michigan Wolverine Football History

January 1, 2019 Michigan Won the First Rose Bowl in 1902

Posted on December 31, 2018 by Barry Gallagher

Today’s post takes Michigan Fans back to a historic day – the day Michigan Won the First Rose Bowl in 1902. Yes, the fine folks in Pasadena, California wanted to add something to their New Year’s Day Parade festivities and help raise money to cover the cost of the parade. Polo matches didn’t have a lot of excitement. So, somebody suggested a football game and Fielding Yost, who had been fired by Stanford in 1900, agreed to bring his powerhouse football team to California. As it turned out, the opponent was Stanford! Wow, what a set-up for the former Stanford coach.

(Note-The 1901 Wolverine Football team, shown above, went to California and Michigan Won the First Rose Bowl in 1902. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michgian.)

Part I. Wolverine History: Michigan Won the First Rose Bowl in 1902

Fielding Yost’s football team was the most dominant team in the country in 1901. They picked up right where they left off on January 1, 1902. Michigan shut out Stanford by a score of 49-0 before the game ended early.

The Wolverines scored early and often. Fullback Neil Snow was the star of the game. He scored five touchdowns on runs of 6, 2, 8, 17 and 4-yards. Curtis Redden also scored on a 25-yard fumble return and Al Herrnstein ran 21-yards for the final score of the game. Everett Sweely also kicked a 20-yard field goal which counted for five points, the same as a touchdown in those days! Bruce Shorts kicked three point-after-touchdown.

Neil Snow was named the Most Valuable Player of the game. So, Michigan ended the season with a perfect record of 11 wins, 0 looses and 0 ties. They outscored their opponents by a margin of 550-0. Yes, the Point-a Minute men from Ann Arbor were awesome on offense and defense in 1901.

Michigan’s dominant win put an end to football in Pasadena for the next fourteen years! The tournament committee tried chariot races in 1903 and ostrich races as well as  other events over the next few years. Football finally resumed in 1916 when Washington and Brown agreed to play in the second Rose Bowl game.

Neil Snow Michigan Football 1901 | gobluefootballhistory.com

Fullback Neil Snow scored five touchdowns in the first Rose Bowl Game in 1902. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

Part II. National Day Calendar Note

My wonderful wife got me a great gift for Christmas this year. Actually, she gave me many very nice gifts, again, on December 25th, 2018. However, one of my favorites is the National Day Calendar for 2019. It is a lot like my website because it talks about something different every day. For example, everyone knows that today is New Years day. However, did you know that it was also “Hangover Day?” Yes, the two kind of go hand-in-hand. So, Happy Hangover Day, hope it’s not too bad for you today. Do whatever you need to do to have a good day! Happy New Year 2019 – the Best is Yet to Come for Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines – you gotta believe!



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