Uni Watch's Friday Flashback: Rose Bowl is granddaddy of adornments

Uni Watch Friday Flashback: Rose Bowl uniforms (2:47)

Paul Lukas of Uni Watch breaks down some of the most creative designs for Rose Bowl uniforms. (2:47)

New Year's Day is here, which means it's time for college football's most storied annual event: the Rose Bowl. Iowa and Stanford will be facing off in Pasadena, California, this time around, and they'll be wearing this jersey patch:

Jersey patches for bowl games are nothing new, of course. But you might not realize that the Granddaddy of Them All is also the granddaddy of bowl game uniform adornments. For nearly four decades now, Rose Bowl teams have been adding rose imagery to their jerseys, their helmets or both. The tradition appears to have begun in 1978, when Washington wore a single rose on each shoulder:

The first Rose Bowl featuring both teams wearing rose patches came in 1982, when Washington and Iowa went with rosy shoulders:

After that, the practice became fairly common for both Rose Bowl combatants:

Although the rose patches became a fairly standard protocol, there were occasional exceptions. In 1995, for example, Oregon went with rosy shoulders but Penn State, true to its no-frills image, kept its jerseys rose-free. Similarly, Ohio State stuck to its old-school look in 1997 while Arizona State wore rose patches:

Washington State upped the ante in 1998 by adding a rose to its helmets -- a crown of thorns, so to speak:

Purdue was the next team to go with rosy headwear, in 2001, and Washington State reprised the look, but with a different helmet logo, in 2003:

The best helmet treatment so far came in 2011, when TCU put a rose in its Horned Frog mascot's mouth:

TCU's opponent in that game was Wisconsin, which just wore its usual "Motion W" helmet logo. But when the Badgers returned to the Rose Bowl a year later, they incorporated a rose pattern into their helmet mark and their uniform numbers:

As for Iowa and Stanford, there has been no advance word about either of them using rose-themed helmet logos (and neither school has ever used rosy headwear for any of its previous Rose Bowl appearances), but that hasn't stopped fans from coming up with their own concepts, at least for Iowa:

Would you like to nominate a uniform to be showcased in a future Friday Flashback installment? Send your suggestions here.

Paul Lukas wishes everyone a Happy New Year. If you liked this column, you'll probably like his Uni Watch Blog, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program, be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted or just ask him a question? Contact him here.