The 1916 game was actually the second in the series. The Rose Bowl was shelved following the inaugural 1902 game due to Michigan's dominant 49-0 victory over Stanford. Washington State won the 1916 contest 14-0 despite Brown being a heavy favorite.
The 1915 Brown squad featured guard Wallace Wade whose blocking was credited for aiding the productivity of the team's legendary running back Fritz Pollard. Pollard would become one of the first two African American players in the NFL in 1920 (alongside Bobby Marshall). Wade would go on to become the coach of Alabama and lead the Crimson Tide to three Rose Bowls.
Wade credited his coach at Brown, Edward "Robbie" Robertson, as a key influence on his approach to the profession. He also cited the experience in the 1916 game as shaping his philosophy in how to prepare for the New Year's Day contest when he returned to Pasadena with the Crimson Tide a decade later.