Nitt Picks is Stirring the Drink

Cuz I know you guys love these, more perspective on the USC-PSU Rose Bowl matchup from the west coast.

The Rose Bowl is bittersweet for USC.

Had Oregon State beaten Oregon, USC could have faced an opponent from the Big XII or SEC in the Sugar Bowl or Fiesta Bowl.

“I would like to play somewhere different, but if the Rose Bowl is what it is, then the Rose Bowl is what it is,” defensive end Kyle Moore said.


USC’s roster is littered with seniors set to make their fourth-consecutive Rose Bowl appearance with a victory against UCLA on Saturday. It would set up the Trojans’ third consecutive meeting with the Big Ten — Penn State has already clinched its spot.

After losing to Texas in the 2006 Rose Bowl, also the BCS title game, USC has won handily the past two seasons against Michigan and Illinois.

“Of course we want to go somewhere else and play other people. It’s whatever now,” senior defensive end Fili Moala said. “I definitely would like to play someone they think we can’t beat.

“I think if people take a good look at our team they’ll notice we’re one of the two best teams in the nation. I don’t think anyone can touch us.”

They just feel like they don't have much to play for anymore.

When you consider USC coach Pete Carroll proclaimed this his best defense and the Pac-10 Conference is worse than ever during his tenure, one would think the Trojans should be playing for the national championship.

But the Trojans instead face struggling UCLA with only the Rose Bowl at stake. That is the prevailing view anyway, except for Carroll.

Only the Rose Bowl, eh? Well I guess they like their chances.

USC, though, looks to be the clear favorite. Playing in their fourth consecutive Rose Bowl, the Trojans have disposed of two straight Big Ten opponents-Michigan in 2007, Illinois in 2008.

Now, Penn State coach Joe Paterno gets his shot. In a matchup of two top-10 squads, the difference could well be the USC defense and the ability of both Carroll and Paterno to adjust.

If that's the case, one has to like the Trojans' chances at taking a third straight Rose Bowl win and landing in the top four national rankings for the seventh straight season.

I don't understand. If the game comes down to adjustments it favors USC? How so? You think Joe Paterno won 380-some games by throwing rock every time?

Is USC actually considering throwing the UCLA game just to get a matchup against a Big XII team?

The ironic part is that whoever winds up as the Big 12's third-place team -- Texas, Texas Tech or Oklahoma* -- will probably provide a better game than Penn State. By beating the Bruins, the Trojans actually condemn themselves to a lesser bowl opponent.

Nice work, football gods.

Yes, because it would be so much more fair on the part of the football Gods if Penn State had to play Oregon State, a team they already defeated 45-14 earlier this year, instead of creating a matchup between two top 10 teams steeped in rich tradition in the greatest post season stage of them all. That would suck. And of course, if the Big XII gets two teams into the BCS, that means USC would face the Big XII's fourth place team, and not the third place team. That would probably be Oklahoma State. So if you think it looks better to lose to UCLA just so you can play Oklahoma State, go ahead and knock yourself out.

If this kind of stuff angers you to read, good. Get used to it. There is going to be a steady diet of it over the next month, and  BSD intends to see to it that you read every word of it.

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