Rose Bowl Showdown is Official

Penn State and USC will square of in Pasadena on New Year's Day in a battle of 11-1 conference champions.

The BCS bowl matchups were released Sunday night. And to the surprise of nobody, Big Ten champion Penn State will square off with Pac-10 champ USC in the Rose Bowl.

The game will be played Jan. 1 in Pasadena, Calif. Kickoff is slated for 4:30 p.m. EST. The Rose Bowl will be televised by ABC.

Both teams enter the game at 11-1. USC finished No. 5 and Penn State No. 8 in the final BCS standings, the same place they were heading into the last week of the season.

Nittany Lion coach Joe Paterno and Trojan counterpart Pete Carroll will take part in a press conference about the Rose Bowl Sunday night. Stay tuned for details.

"Playing in the Rose Bowl will be a wonderful experience for our team," Paterno said in a prepared statement. "They have worked hard all season and have been a great group. It will be a terrific challenge to play Southern Cal, who I think is one of the three best teams in the nation."

"We are thrilled to be returning to the Rose Bowl," added PSU athletic director Tim Curley. "Everyone from Penn State had a tremendous experience during our last trip to Pasadena and we're excited about again playing in the 'Granddaddy of them All' and one more chance for our great fans to support this team. The hospitality extended to our squad and fans by the Tournament of Roses staff was outstanding in our last visit and we're looking forward to taking part in the many Rose Bowl events and attractions in the Los Angeles area."

In an appearance on ESPN, Carroll said, "Our guys are thrilled about it. The matchup is awesome. To go against Penn State and Coach Paterno, I think there is going to be tremendous excitement for it."

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