Selection Sunday: Stanford left out of Playoff, will play Iowa in Rose Bowl

Dec. 6, 2015, 10:26 a.m.

Even after a resounding 41-22 victory over USC in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Saturday night for the team’s third Pac-12 title in four years, No. 6 Stanford will not be playing in the second annual College Football Playoff, as announced on the College Football Playoff Selection Show on Sunday morning.

Instead, as the Pac-12 champion, No. 6 Stanford will play in the 102nd Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual against Big Ten runner-up No. 5 Iowa, which suffered a tough 16-13 defeat in the Big Ten Championship on Saturday to Michigan State on a last-second touchdown that won the game for the Spartans.

“If the worst thing we can do is go to the Rose Bowl, I think that’s pretty cool,” said head coach David Shaw after the Cardinal’s Pac-12 title victory Saturday night.

In the two Dec. 31 Playoff bowls, No. 1 Clemson will play No. 4 Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, while No. 2 Alabama will match up against No. 3 Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl.

Although he had stayed mum for the most part about his team’s College Football Playoff aspirations during the season, instead choosing to focus on things within the team’s control, Shaw was very unequivocal about his stance on where he feels Stanford should be with regards to this year’s Playoff after Saturday’s game.

“The question is, should there be an eight-team playoff? Absolutely,” Shaw said. “If you win one of the big five conferences, should you be in the playoff? Absolutely. Eventually I think we’ll get there. We’re not there now, but it’s the only thing that makes sense.”

In the Hawkeyes, the Cardinal will meet a third different Big Ten opponent as they make their third trip to the Rose Bowl in the last four seasons. Stanford defeated Wisconsin 20-14 in the 2013 Rose Bowl, while the Cardinal lost to Michigan State 24-20 in the 2014 Rose Bowl.

Before this stretch of three Rose Bowls in four seasons, Stanford played in the “Granddaddy of Them All” just once in a stretch from 1973 to 2012. This will mark just the third time in Stanford history that the Cardinal will qualify for a third Rose Bowl in four years, matching similar stretches from 1925-28 and 1934-37.

Stanford will be making its 15th Rose Bowl appearance in program history; the Cardinal are 6-7-1 all-time in the hallowed game. Meanwhile, Iowa will make its sixth Rose Bowl appearance in program history and first since 1991, a 46-35 loss to Washington.

Iowa is enjoying perhaps the best season in program history. The Hawkeyes went 12-0 in the regular season for the first time ever and rose as high as No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings before their close loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship. Entering championship weekend, they were one of only two undefeated teams in the country along with Clemson.

The Hawkeyes are much like Stanford in that they play hard-nosed, power football behind a big offensive line, stud running back in Jordan Canzeri and a stiff, battle-tested defense, which should make the Hawkeyes very similar to 2012 Wisconsin and 2013 Michigan State, the Cardinal’s last two Rose Bowl opponents.

The 2016 Rose Bowl Game will mark the first ever meeting between the Cardinal and Hawkeyes.

The Cardinal and Hawkeyes will meet in the 102nd Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1 at 2 p.m., with the game televised by ABC.


Contact Do-Hyoung Park at dhpark ‘at’

Do-Hyoung Park '16, M.S. '17 is the Minnesota Twins beat reporter at, having somehow ensured that his endless hours sunk into The Daily became a shockingly viable career. He was previously the Chief Operating Officer and Business Manager at The Stanford Daily for FY17-18. He also covered Stanford football and baseball for five seasons as a student and served two terms as sports editor and four terms on the copy desk. He was also a color commentator for KZSU 90.1 FM's football broadcast team for the 2015-16 Rose Bowl season.

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