MADISON -- Lorayne Ritt remembers attending the Wisconsin Badgers at their first bowl game in 1953. The 1952 season was the best Badgers had ever had, but Purdue also had a good season.
"The athletic directors of the Big 10 schools decided they would have the last word. So they met on a Monday morning after the final football game, and decided who would go," Ritt said. "So it wasn't until 1:00 Monday afternoon that we found out that Wisconsin had been named."
Once the news spread about Wisconsin making the Rose Bowl, the UW-Madison campus exploded. The football team and students were both Rose Bowl bound. "A very ambitious group of students and student government quickly assembled a hotel and train package for students," says Ritt.
The '53 Rose Bowl itself was a defensive battle resulting in a Wisconsin loss. The Badgers have been to six more Rose Bowl's since then, and currently have a 3-4 Rose Bowl record.