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Golden Nuggets: Will College Football Playoffs Relegate the Rose Bowl to Second-Tier Status?

Rose Bowl Hall of Famer John Hicks looks back fondly on the forty years of Rose Bowl history since he started three consecutive ones in his college career at Ohio State. With the four-team playoffs beginning in a few years, he is not certain the bowl will retain its luster in the future.

"Everybody wanted to get to the Rose Bowl," Hicks said. "They were envious of our arrangement. Those guys from Oklahoma, when they first got into the Rose Bowl, they thought they had died and gone to heaven."

Big Ten and Pac-12 officials knew that, which is why they have been so protective of their relationship with it. The ill-fated Bowl Championship Series title game sucked up some of the Rose Bowl’s magic, giving the game secondary status when the title game wasn’t in Pasadena. But the four-team playoff will deal a near-lethal blow to a game that has been such a critical part of the sport’s tradition.

The Rose Bowl will be part of a six-bowl consortium that will play host to the annual semifinal games; to ensure that the Rose remains relevant, the Big Ten and Pac-12 insisted that the semifinals be played in bowl games.But reported this week that the bowl will likely play host to even fewer games than the math for the 12-year agreement would suggest — four times in 12 years — because bowl officials don’t want to go years without playing host to the traditional Big Ten-Pac-12 matchup. If the Rose Bowl isn’t the site of a national semifinal, it will pair a Big Ten team against a Pac-12 team.

At first glance, this seems like a positive, except for this caveat: The national focus is going to be on the semifinals. If the Big Ten and Pac-12 champions meet in the Rose Bowl, that means neither was deemed good enough to play in the final four. And if the teams are good enough to make the semifinals, the Rose Bowl will get runners-up from one or both leagues. Either way, the game won’t have the impact that the games in Pasadena have had throughout history.

Another blow to the Rose Bowl's status is a tough price to pay. Of course, it pales in comparison to what the Nets are paying for Joe Johnson. I can't believe that organization took the NBA's most bloated contract. Links galore after the jump.