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Parity Cited as Reason for Rose Bowl's Lean Years

November 14, 1987

Being one of the poor, uncultured Midwestern boys to attend a Big Ten university and now living in this quagmire of sophistication called Los Angeles, I felt compelled to respond to Mike Downey's column (Nov. 9).

It seems that the time has come to end the match-up between the Big Ten and the Pac-10 conferences in the Rose Bowl. Why? According to Mr. Downey, it's a boring game with a predictable outcome because the Pac-10 wins every year. Yawn. Right? Wrong.

To his credit, he did mention the fact that when the series was first initiated, the Big Ten representative inflicted as much pain on the Coast rival. It was just as lopsided as it is now, but did you hear the call from the Big Ten writers to eliminate the Pac-10 from the series? No, but how quickly we forget, right?

If you truly want to compete with the Orange Bowl or Fiesta Bowl, then let's do the following:

--Get rid of not just the Big Ten, but also the Pac-10, since UCLA never beats the Big Eight and USC couldn't get by Michigan State. You'll want teams with unblemished records.

--Go after powerhouse teams, i.e., Miami, Notre Dame, Florida State.

--Hope that NBC televises the game.

--Hope the sophisticated folks you do lineup bring as much money with them, or as many of them, to Los Angeles as the uncultured folks did.

Rather than end the Rose Bowl series, let's all realize that parity has come to college football, be it in the Big Ten, Pac-10, or elsewhere. After all, it wasn't that many years ago that the national champion came out of the Rose Bowl game.

STEVEN SAFELY

Hermosa Beach

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