When Arizona and Southern California face off on the gridiron Saturday, a trip to San Diego and the Holiday Bowl will be on the line.
According to the Contra Costa Times, the Holiday Bowl wants USC or Arizona. USC, for obvious reasons, and Arizona because of a strong Southern California alumni base and San Diego's proximity to Tucson.
What will this mean for both programs?
For Arizona, it will mean that Mike Stoops has exercised his Pete Carroll demon. The only team that Stoops has yet to defeat in his six years at Arizona is USC.
It would also mean that Arizona finished second in the Pac-10. It would be a four-way tie for second, but second nonetheless.
The last time the Cats finished second was 1998 when they finished 12-1 and missed out on making the Rose Bowl. They defeated Nebraska in the game, 23-20, who is the likely Big 12 opponent in the Holiday Bowl this season.
The Holiday Bowl has seen how many Cats fans would pack the stadium. Arizona has a large and strong alumni base in Southern California. Many of those fans were unable to go to the Vegas Bowl last year but a shorter trip may draw more of the SoCal fan base.
San Diego is only a six hour drive from Phoenix and Tucson, and Cats fans showed up well last year to Las Vegas, the Holiday Bowl would love to see a packed house.
For USC, a win will likely save the Trojans season. Finishing second in the Pac-10 is unheard of for Trojan fans under Carroll.
Going to the Holiday Bowl would give USC a quality opponent to play and some momentum going into next season.
It would allow them to show fans that they have not fallen from the top and, at worst, this year was a rebuilding year for the mighty USC program.
The Holiday Bowl would love to get USC to San Diego. They are a two hour drive away (depending on traffic) and it would be the Trojans first trip to the Holiday Bowl. Despite the disappointing season, you could expect a lot of Trojans fans at the game.
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