While the game may have been a letdown, it was and remains a highlight of IU's athletic history. IU was then the last Big Ten school to make its first Rose Bowl appearance, and so it would have been significant even if it were not IU's only appearance. The Hoosiers were 1-8-1 in 1966 and had not won more than three games in a season since going 4-4-1 in 1959, and had posted only one winning season (5-3-1 in 1958) since the departure of the legendary Bo McMillin after the 1947 season. IU's 1967 Rose Bowl appearance was as improbable as Northwestern's 1995 appearance.
Here are some photos I stumbled across in IU's Hoagy Carmichael collection some time ago while looking for something else. Whoever catalogued these images did not grasp their significance, describing them as "Hoagy Carmichael in a crowd of spectators" and "Crowd at an Indiana University football game" and such things.
While IU seems far from a return to Pasadena, there were times that a mere return to any postseason competition seemed improbable. Let's hope that everyone reading this is still around when it happens again.