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A Case Is Made on Behalf of Big Ten

November 21, 1987

Concerning Mike Downey's column on the future of the Rose Bowl game, please consider:

The Big Ten has won 19 Rose Bowl games vs. 22 for the Pac-10 since the 1947 pact.

There are over 105,000 alumni of Big Ten schools living in Los Angeles and Orange counties. No other conference or independent school has such numbers.

The Big Ten has led the nation in attendance for 29 consecutive years. More people watch Big Ten football, in person or on TV, than any other conference.

Rose Bowl profits gave each of the 20 schools in the two conferences over $600,000 on an equal basis. The team that finishes last receives the same amount as the winner of the conference. This attempts to put them all on an equitable recruiting basis.

Only the Rose Bowl is consistently sold out. The 1987 Rose Bowl game drew 103,168; the Orange Bowl drew only 57,291 vs. capacity of 74,244.

In summary, if the Pac-10 returned to the old format of playing an at-large team, it would be ludicrous, since no other conference or independent team has the alumni to match the Big Ten; no two conferences are better suited academically and physically ; and the Rose Bowl profits would probably drop considerably because of lower attendance and TV audiences from the Midwest.

The Rose Bowl game is not a game for the national championship, but a game between compatible conferences.

ALEX H. GAAL

San Marino

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