By CBSLA Staff

PASADENA (CBSLA) – New Year’s Day isn’t just about the parade, but the Rose Bowl as well. Stores are filled with red, not just for roses – but for Ohio State and Utah – who are facing off in the Grand Daddy of them all.

KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen spoke with fans from both teams outside a merchandise store on Colorado Boulevard.

This is a first time experience for Utah fans – they only became qualified for the game in 2011 when they move to the PAC-12 conference.

For the folks in Utah – they only qualified for the game a few years back because they moved into the PAC-12 conference.

“We never thought it would happen.  We were WAC (Western Athletic Conference), Mountain West [Conference], this was never on our radar,” said Utah fan Cory Kennedy. “So once we got into the PAC-12… this has been the dream.”

The Utes are playing in the first Rose Bowl Game after defeating the Oregon Ducks 37-10 in the Pac-12 Championship game.

“This is a bucket list thing for us,” said Ohio State fan Jimmy Hull.

The Buckeyes are making their 16th appearance in the Rose Bowl and their first since defeating Washington 28-23 in 2019.

“We are thrilled that our team is here and we are planning for this to not be the last time,” said Meggin Kennedy.

Utah has one the Pac-12 south division in three of the last four season and won their first PAC-12 Conference Championship this season.

“I love flowers.  I’ve always wanted to come see the Rose Bowl Parade,” said Ohio State fan Debby Sharvin. “I’m so thrilled to be able to do that.”

Whether attendees are rooting for the Buckeyes or the Utes – both sides had something in common – no one was wearing a heavy coat.

Because when you’re coming from Ohio or Utah – Pasadena in January is basically t-shirt weather.