Though I don't think the Rose Bowl still has the aura it once did (thanks to matchups like Oklahoma vs Washington State), there's no finer venue to watch a college football game.
Especially on January 1st, when the weather is crappy in the Midwest, but 85 in Pasadena and they're serving beers in the stadium.
It was sorta sickening to see those TCU players with Roses in their teeth. That bowl should be played between the Big10 and Pac10, two conferences that have a lot of positive things in common; two conferences that have similar academic traditions; similar strength of schedules; similar traditions. Other conferences play with a slightly different set of rules. Shoulda been Wisky and Stanford this season. TCU could go to some other bowl.
I'm between the top 2 responses. I love the B10-P10 matchup but I do like the nuances if the matchup works. Texas-Michigan? Good replacement. Like Jason mentioned, Oklahoma-WSU? Bad replacement. It should've clearly been Iowa-WSU that year, just like it should be Sconsin-Stanford this year. If the #1 teams from the B10 & P10 don't work out, they should bust ass to get a B10-P10 matchup that works... within reason. This year's game is still a better match than 2007 (USC vs a 9-3 Illinois team).
That said, I spent my first 30 years thinking that the Rose Bowl was where you ended your football season. It was a foregone conclusion. After finally making it out there last year, I've told everyone I know that you have to make it to at least one Rose Bowl before you die. It was one of the few things in my life that exceeded expectations.