|1963 Rose Bowl|
|49th Rose Bowl Game|
|Date||January 1, 1963|
|MVP||Pete Beathard (USC QB)|
Ron Vander Kelen (UW QB)
|Favorite||Wisconsin by 2 points|
|National anthem||University of Wisconsin Marching Band|
|Halftime show||Spirit of Troy, University of Wisconsin Marching Band|
|United States TV coverage|
|Announcers||Mel Allen, Bill Symes|
The 1963 Rose Bowl was the 49th edition of the college football bowl game, played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on Tuesday, January 1, at the end of the 1962 season. The top-ranked USC Trojans defeated the Wisconsin Badgers, 42–37. This was the first #1 versus #2 match-up in a bowl game, although #1 versus #2 match-ups had occurred previously as regular season games (typically referred to as "Games of the Century"). The quarterbacks, Ron Vander Kelen of Wisconsin and Pete Beathard of USC, were named co-Players of the Game.
Down 42–14 in the fourth quarter, Vander Kelen put together a number of drives to score 23 unanswered points and put the Badgers in position to win the game. Due to the historic #1 versus #2 bowl match-up, the number of Rose Bowl records set, and the furious fourth quarter rally by Wisconsin, this game frequently appears on lists of "greatest bowl games of all time."
This was the first bowl game to pair the #1 and #2 teams in the AP Poll, although there had previously been six regular season #1 versus #2 games since the inception of the poll in 1936. This was the second Rose Bowl meeting between USC and Wisconsin (the first being the 1953 Rose Bowl) and the fourth meeting, overall.
Wisconsin finished the regular season 8-1, becoming the sole champion of the Big Ten Conference. The Badgers were undefeated except for a loss to conference rival Ohio State at Ohio Stadium, ranked #5 in the AP poll at the time. Notable victories were over then-#1 Northwestern during homecoming (37-6) and a comeback victory over archrival Minnesota, then ranked #5 (14-9). The Badgers earned their third trip to the Rose Bowl.
After consecutive losing seasons in 1960 and 1961, John McKay turned the Trojans around in his third season as head coach. The team opened with a defeat of #8 Duke. Consecutive wins against SMU, at Iowa, California, and at Illinois got the Trojans ranked higher in the top 10. USC's biggest game of the season was against ninth-ranked Washington; in the homecoming game on November 3, the Trojans blanked the Huskies 14-0. With that win, the Trojans were ranked number two behind Northwestern. On November 17, by beating Navy and with Alabama losing to Georgia Tech 7–6, USC ascended to the number one spot in the AP poll.
In the rivalry game against UCLA, the Bruins led 3–0 until the fourth quarter, when the Trojans scored two touchdowns. In the final game for Notre Dame head coach Joe Kuharich, USC shut out the 5–4 Fighting Irish at the Coliseum, breaking a five-game losing streak in the annual intersectional rivalry. The Trojans finished ranked number 1 for the first time in the history of the AP poll, and were undefeated for the first time since the twice-tied 1939 team won the Rose Bowl.
USC tackle Marv Marinovich was ejected when he got caught elbowing Steve Underwood, the Wisconsin captain. Wisconsin, under the direction of quarterback Ron Vander Kelen put together an incredible comeback attempt in the fourth quarter. Pete Beathard had completed his fourth touchdown pass with 14:54 left in the game to put USC up 42–14.
Then the Badgers, led by Vander Kelen, put together one of the greatest comebacks in the history of college football, scoring 23 unanswered points in the fourth quarter before time ran out. The final score of the game was USC-42, Wisconsin-37. For their efforts, quarterbacks Beathard and Vander Kelen were both named the Rose Bowl MVPs.
|First downs||32, Wisconsin||current|
|Passes attempted||48, Wisconsin||broken in 1995|
|Passes intercepted||3, Wisconsin||tied in 1984 - current|
|Passes completed||33, Wisconsin||broken in 1995|
|Passing yards||401, Wisconsin||broken in 1995|
|Most Plays||, Wisconsin||broken in 1995|
|Total Offense||, Wisconsin||broken in 1995|
|Combined points||79, Wisconsin & USC||broken in 1991|
|touchdown passes||4, USC||tied in 1984, 2005 - current|
|Combined touchdown passes||6, Wisconsin & USC|
|Penalties||12 for 93 yards, USC|
Eleven Rose Bowl records were set and five still stand as of 2008: most intercepted passes (3 by Ron Vander Kelen), most touchdown passes (4 by USC, and six overall), most first downs by one team (32 by Wisconsin), and most penalties (USC 12 for 93 yards). The Rose Bowl record 79 total points scored in this game stood for nearly thirty years (subsequently broken in 1991, when Washington led by 25 and put in reserves early). The omitted records stood for more than thirty years, until broken by Oregon quarterback Danny O'Neil in 1995.
Both of the consensus All-America ends played in this game. Pat Richter (Wisconsin) and Hal Bedsole (USC) were inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, in 1996 and 2012, respectively. This was Richter's last college game, while Bedsole was an underclassman.
Three players from this game (Beathard, Vander Kelen, and Richter) have been inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame. John McKay has also been inducted as a coach.
The game is considered by many to be among the greatest games in college football history, along with the 2006 Rose Bowl, among others.