Blasphemy! The USC Trojans not in a Rose Bowl? Yes, you heard me.
The Trojans have owned the Rose Bowl in recent years, spending four out of their last five bowl season games in Los Angeles. And it’s time for change.
Sure, the Trojans lost a nail-biter to the Texas Longhorns in 2006—yet this was when the Rose Bowl was hosting the National Championship game. Now, with the creation of the BCS Championship Series, the Rose Bowl is a shadow of it’s former self.
Not that the bowl isn’t prestigious—it’s just not enough for USC these days, as the Big 10 has failed to put up a decent opponent in years, and this year is no different.
If Oregon State loses, the Trojans will most likely play a Penn State team that barely beat the Ohio State Buckeyes in conference play. USC beat the Buckeyes 35-3.
The idea that conference strength determines the quality of a team has crushed USC’s championship hopes this year. After a close loss to Oregon State—which, by the way, is ranked in both polls as a top 25 team—USC lost any claim to a BCS championship berth, simply because the coaches and computers do not respect the Pac-10.
This is well deserved. Most of the Pac-10 does not deserve respect. Yet this should not reflect on the quality of the Trojan football squad, which boasts the number one defense in the country, and has consistently outplayed any ranked opponents.
So how does USC shed the shackles of conference strength? By going to the Sugar Bowl.
If Pete Carroll and his men in cardinal and gold can beat the SEC runner-up into submission, no coach will ever doubt the ability of a Trojan football team, regardless of conference strength.
The computers will not be influenced, but at least the coaches, with 2/3 of the BCS power, will always remember the time that USC marched into the Sugar Bowl and pounded one of the supposed 2008 powerhouses of the SEC.
USC should leave the roses behind this year, and go grab some sugar instead.