Alan Ameche, Woody Hayes and Bob Jeter have been nominated as finalists for the Rose Bowl Game All-Century Class as representatives from the 1950's. The candidates, as voted by an esteemed panel from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), are the fifth of a series of names that will be unveiled each Sunday throughout the remainder of the college football regular season. In commemoration of the 100th Rose Bowl Game, the All-Century Class will highlight and honor great players and coaches throughout the history of The Granddaddy of Them All.
Alan Ameche was the 1954 Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Wisconsin. Before being cast into iron lore, he ran for 133 yards on 28 carries in the 1953 Rose Bowl Game. Despite breaking loose for a 54-yard run in the third quarter, an unfortunate Badger fumble two plays later led to USC scoring the game's only touchdown on the ensuing drive. Ameche, known as "The Iron Horse" because of his ability to play nearly 55 of 60 minutes a game, gained 3,345 yards rushing in his career at Wisconsin, a then-NCAA record. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and was a member of the 2004 Rose Bowl Hall of Fame. His number 35 is one of six honored numbers at the University of Wisconsin.
Woody Hayes is synonymous with Rose Bowl Game history. His success translated into scores of accolades, including three of his four Rose Bowl Game wins leading to national championships for Ohio State. Hayes ranks second in all-time Rose Bowl Game appearances as a head coach with eight, just behind rival Bo Schembechler, who made 10 (six of which were after Hayes stopped coaching). Hayes is also one of only three coaches to take his team to four consecutive Rose Bowl Games (1973-76), facing off against John McKay and the USC Trojans for the first three (1-2 record), before losing to Dick Vermeil and the UCLA Bruins in his final Rose Bowl Game. Hayes was a member of the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame 1989 class.
On January 1, 1959, Iowa halfback Bob Jeter set fire to the Rose Bowl Game record books, posting new marks for total rushing yards, yards per carry and longest run. In Iowa's 38-12 win over California, the Hawkeye's rushed for 429 yards. Jeter personally took care of a staggering 194 of those yards on only nine carries for an average of 21.6 yards per carry - including an 81-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. His record-setting Rose Bowl Game performance earned him Player of the Game honors and was the closing note on a great day. In his Hawkeye career, "Jeet's" netted 1,016 yards for a 5.9 yard/carry average. He was a member of the 1994 Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.
The FWAA voting committee will select one Rose Bowl Game representative from each decade to comprise the All-Century Class. In addition, one overall player and one overall coach will be highlighted at a press conference on Selection Sunday, which will take place on December 8, 2013, in Pasadena.