Archie Griffin, Jim Plunkett and Charles White have been nominated as finalists for the Rose Bowl Game All-Century Class as representatives from the 1970s. The candidates, as voted by an esteemed panel from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), are the seventh 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.
Archie Griffin, the only player ever to win the Heisman Trophy twice, is also one of only two players ever to have started in four consecutive Rose Bowl Games. The three-time All-American gained a total of 412 yards on 79 carries during his Rose Bowl Game career, including 149 yards in his 1974 appearance. In his four years at Ohio State, Griffin became the NCAA career-rushing leader, with 5,589 yards – a 6.1 average – and gained 100 yards or more in 31 consecutive regular-season games. To this day, he remains the Buckeyes' career rushing leader. Griffin is synonymous with Ohio State, where he currently serves as CEO and president of the Ohio State Alumni Association. He was elected into the OSU Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame in 1986 and was a 1990 inductee into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.
Stanford quarterback Jim Plunkett led Stanford to an early 10-0 lead in the 1971 Rose Bowl Game, only to see Ohio State come back 14-10 at halftime. Plunkett, however, took Stanford downfield for a third-quarter field goal and two fourth-quarter touchdowns to win the game. He finished 20 of 30 passing for 265 yards in the air with one touchdown and 49 yards on the ground, garnering Player of the Game honors for his performance. Plunkett won the Heisman Trophy in 1970, and went on to be the number one overall pick in the 1971 NFL draft. He spent 15 years in the league, winning two Super Bowls, including a Super Bowl MVP award, becoming the first player to be named Rose Bowl Player of the Game and Super Bowl MVP. Stanford retired Plunkett's old number 16 in 1991; he was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1989.
As a running back, Charles White led the Trojans to three Rose Bowl Game victories and is one of only four players to receive two Player of the Game honors (in 1979 and 1980). His senior season, White set or equaled 22 NCAA, Pac-10, USC and Rose Bowl Game records, including career records for most rushes (103) and most yards gained (460) in The Granddaddy of Them All. He capped off his 1979 Heisman Trophy winning season in the 1980 Rose Bowl Game where he rushed for 247 yards, including the game winning touchdown over The Ohio State Buckeyes. White went on to a nine-year pro career, and returned to USC from 1993 to 1997 as an assistant coach, working with the running backs. He was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1990.
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.
For more information on the 100th Rose Bowl Game, please visit www.tournamentofroses.com.