Rose Bowl better than title game? Ha!

Pete CarrollSo I’m watching Air Force play Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl on New Year’s Eve and one of the ESPN announcers says (I’m paraphrasing), “Everyone wants to focus on the national championship game, but the best bowl this year is in Pasadena. The Rose Bowl is best matchup on the bowl schedule this year.”

No way. No…way…

The announcer went on to talk about how USC was the top ranked program in the nation at one point this year and how Penn State was ranked in the top five, so the matchup is outstanding. Okay, I get that. The matchup does look outstanding, but it won’t be better than the title game.

I’ll be the first one to eat my words if I’m wrong, but I say USC waxes Penn State in the Rose Bowl this evening. The Trojans have one of the fastest and most talented defenses in the entire nation and while Joe Pa’s spread offense has been explosive, PSU hasn’t faced a defense like USC’s and I fail to see how this game remains close when the Trojans are playing in their own backyard.

The only way I see this game being tight is if USC comes out flat like it has a penchant for doing, or if Mark Sanchez starts turning the ball over – which he has a penchant for doing. In fact, if Penn State hangs with USC, I’ll dedicate an entire post about how underrated the Lions were all season and how wrong I was about the Trojans.

The Florida-Oklahoma title game matchup has everything. How will the Sooners’ dynamic offense fare against the Gators’ stifling defense? Will 2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford outperform 2007 winner Tim Tebow? Can Bob Stoops’ team perform better this year than they have in past bowls? Will Urban Meyer win his second national championship in three years?

The Rose Bowl looks great on paper, but it’s a stretch to say that it’ll be more entertaining than the title game. (And the ESPN announcer hasn’t been the only one who suggested that it would be better than the title game because several media members throughout the week have been sharing that sentiment.)

Outside of USC and Penn State fans, does anybody else believe the Rose Bowl should be more exciting than the national title game? Am I missing something here?

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