December 29, 2008

Rose Bowl Game Presented by Citi -- Penn State (11-1) vs. USC (11-1) (Rose Bowl Pasadena, California January 1, 2009 4:30pm ABC)

Tie Ins: Big Ten Champ vs. Pac Ten Champ

Dan: USC -10

Easiest pick of all the games. USC is such a predictable team it is almost unfair. They’re going to kill out of conference opponents at the beginning of the year, struggle through a couple PAC 10 games in the middle of the year, and then whoop Notre Dame. If those struggles included a loss (like this year), then they are going to absolutely destroy an overmatched Big 10 team in the Rose Bowl.

USC 52 Penn State 14

Matt: USC -10

I’m like the guy from the Bible who had to see it to believe (Simon?). Until I see a Big 10 team take down USC, I will not believe it can happen. I’ve heard all about this Spread HD offense, but where was it when they needed it against Iowa? If you can’t put points on Iowa in the biggest game of the season, you are not scoring on this historically good USC team. I know you’re not supposed to draft safeties that high, but how can Taylor Mays not be a top pick. That guy is a freak of nature. Watch how high I predict the margin of victory:

USC 48 Penn State 6

Mike: USC –10

Gambling Commandment #12: never bet against Pete Carroll in a bowl game against a Big 10 foe, regardless of spread. Gambling Commandment #13: never bet against Pete Carroll when his team is motivated by a perceived lack of respect.

USC 38 Penn State 14

Doug: USC -10

First of all, I love the Rose Bowl. It's my favorite bowl, it's the best setting of all the bowls, it's always on New Years Day (except for the years when it is the title game) and there is something about "The Grandaddy of Them All" that makes it a special event every year. If you grew up in the Midwest, the Rose Bowl is THE bowl game to watch. Throw in Msuberger and Herbstreit, and I still say the Rose Bowl is the marquee event of the bowl season (even bigger than the BCS Championship Game if you ask me). I'm headed down to the Orange Bowl this year, so I'm a little bummed that I'm probably only going to catch bits and pieces of the Rose Bowl if I watch it at all.

I went down to Lexington for part of the holidays, and I was listening to some random sports show on the drive down there. Anyway, the guy on the show was saying that the easiest pick on his bowl pick schedule was for Penn State to cover the spread against USC in the Rose Bowl. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?! Are people really going to talk themselves into a Big 10 team yet again against USC?? Cmon, how many times do we have to see USC bludgeon a Big 10 team before people start getting the message that USC is playing at a different level than the Big 10 teams?? Michigan, Illinois, Ohio State, and now Penn State. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is. USC has the best defense in the country, and their offense always shows up in the big games (especially when they are playing in their home base in SoCal).

Penn State fans, I know you are fired up about this game and think that your guys are underrated and all that. I appreciate your enthusiasm for this game, and I’m not going to put you down for thinking you can win. That is life as a college football fan. I’ve talked myself into thinking ND could beat USC on a few occasions, so it’s not like I don’t know what you are going through. I know Joe Pa has a great record in bowl games, and I know Penn State has a stout defense to go with the Spread HD. Maybe you aren’t getting any respect and will prove me wrong. I'm actually glad that Penn State is in this game. They haven't been to the Rose Bowl in a long time, and I think it will be cool to see those PSU and USC uniforms on the same field. We've already seen enough USC-Michigan games, and Ohio State is playing USC again next year. Penn State is the best the Big 10 can offer this year.

But you would have to be crazy to bet on Penn State here. Penn State’s offense is not going to have any success against this USC defense, and USC is going to find ways to score points against the Nittany Lion defense. Pete Carroll is the best big game coach in America, and USC owns the Rose Bowl (especially against the Big 10).

Just look at the rosters here!! USC has All-Americans all over their defense, and their young offense is turning it up a notch. Every guy on their defense is probably going to play in the NFL someday. Taylor Mays, Maulauga, Cushing, Clay Matthews, Fili Moala. Absurd. Penn State is trotting out a nice Midwestern roster with some nice players, but they are in over their heads heading out to LA.

I really hope a lot of people talk themselves into Penn State just because it will be funny when USC is up 21-3 in the second quarter and “Conquest” is playing every other down.

If you ask me, USC is still one of the two best teams in the country. I think they have the best defense in the country, and I'd take Pete Carroll against anyone in a big game. I want to see them play Florida after all these games are over. If they smoke Penn State in this game, I think USC should get a share of the title.

If this line drops into single digits, you should be looking to bet big money on the Trojans. That’s free money if you ask me.

USC 31 Penn State 10

1 comment:

Ravi said...

The First Team All-Big Ten Team would not cover this spread against USC. The Big Ten has become a mid major football conference.