The 1975 Rose Bowl was a college footballbowl game played on January 1, 1975. It was the 61st Rose Bowl Game. Fifth ranked USC Trojans defeated third ranked Ohio State Buckeyes 18-17 in one of the most exciting games in the history of the Rose Bowl. USC quarterback Pat Haden passed to Shelton Diggs for the two-point conversion that gave the Trojans the Rose Bowl victory and the UPI's college football national title.
The defending Rose Bowl champs were the nation's top ranked team for much of the season, until they were upset by Michigan State at East Lansing on November 9 by a score of 16-13. Two weeks later, the Buckeyes earned the Rose Bowl berth with a 12-10 victory over Michigan, when kicker Mike Lantry's last second field goal attempt sailed just wide.
USC was upset by Arkansas 22-7 in Little Rock in the season opener, then reeled off 5 straight wins before a 15-15 tie at home against California. They won their final four games, the most dramatic being a season ending 55-24 win over Notre Dame in which the Trojans trailed 24-0.
USC — J. K. McKay 38-yard pass from Haden (PAT - Haden pass to Shelton Diggs)
Undefeated Oklahoma was the #1 team in the AP poll, but were on probation so they could not go to a bowl game. The UPI poll did not consider teams on probabation, so going into the bowl games, they had Alabama #1, followed by Ohio State, Michigan, and USC. USC's dramatic Rose Bowl win enabled them to leapfrog both Ohio State and Michigan, and when Notre Dame upset Alabama in the Orange Bowl, 13-11, USC was voted #1 in the UPI poll.
Third straight time the two teams meet in the Rose Bowl.