O/NSO - Bowl announcement

National championship rings look mighty good whether they're won in Pasadena or New Orleans. The University of Southern California Trojans will get their opportunity to prove it when the nation's No.1 college football team comes to the 2004 Rose Bowl Game against No.4 Michigan in search of its ninth national championship on New Year's Day.

The Obvious – National championship rings look mighty good whether they're won in Pasadena or New Orleans. The University of Southern California Trojans will get their opportunity to prove it when the nation's No.1 college football team comes to the 2004 Rose Bowl Game against No.4 Michigan in search of its ninth national championship on New Year's Day.

The Not So Obvious - Thankfully, the invitational scent of roses and other assorted Rose Parade horticulture will fumigate the college football world from the foul stench of Sunday's BCS title announcement pairing Oklahoma and LSU in the Sugarless Bowl in New Orleans and fortuitously leaving the Trojans on Pasadena's doorstep.

The Obvious - "Music,Music, Music" is the theme of this year's parade and the Trojans are now more than happy to hear a national championship verse of Ethel Merman's "Everythings Coming Up Roses."

The Not So Obvious – While Trojan players were passing out roses outside Heritage Hall and making the natural emotional transition from Sugar to Rose, national rankings were still on the mind of USC corner Marcell Allmond. Allmond said, "We are No. 1 in two polls and No. 3 in a poll that nobody else gets. We must be No.1."

The Obvious –The top-ranked and Pac-10 champion Trojans (11-1, 7-1 Pac-10) and Big Ten champion Michigan (10-2, 7-1) have stolen the thunder from the collapsing BCS title game in New Orleans thanks to the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls.

The Not So Obvious – Thank the Lord for human beings! Who would have ever dreamed the Rose Bowl would again host a national championship game under these unforeseen circumstances? The Tournament of Roses will now get pure cain sugar satisfaction knowing the fate of this year's national championship picture will be dictated by events in Pasadena on January 1.

The Obvious – This will be the first time since the fabled 1972 USC national championship season that the Trojans will be ranked No. 1 in both polls heading into a bowl game.

The Not So Obvious – Not only were the Trojans number one in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll on Sunday, but they dominated LSU and Oklahoma in first-place votes. In the AP, the Trojans had 42 first place votes compared to LSU's 21 and Oklahoma's two. In the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll, Troy had 37 first-place votes while LSU had 18 and Oklahoma had eight.

The Obvious – Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese, spokesperson for the BCS, tried to explain how USC could be left out in an interview on ESPN. Big East Mike was obviously uncomfortable trying to explain how the consensus No. 1 team in the country could not be in the BCS championship game.

The Not So Obvious – Pete Carroll, who came on ESPN and logically proclaimed his Trojans number one, suggested maybe USC could play the winner of the Sugar Bowl in next year's BCA game as a split-championship playoff. The nation and recruits everywhere had to be impressed with Carroll's calm and methodical presentation on the BCS mess.

The Obvious –What a Bowel Championship Series disaster! The top-ranked Trojans, fresh off a commanding 52-28 win over Oregon State (7-5, 4-4), have now turned the Rose Bowl Game into their own private national voting booth.

The Not So Obvious – Ya gotta love it! Turn on the sarcastic laughing machine for all the good old boys of the South, who now will now try and convince the rest of the nation that the Sugar Bowl is for the true national championship. Should the Trojans beat a strong Michigan club, the Sugar Bowl may be in danger of becoming a lump of nutrasweet.

The Obvious – Prior to his appearance on ESPN, Trojan coach Pete Carroll appeared on the ABC's Bowl Selection Show and convincingly proclaimed his USC team the number one team in the nation according to both human polls.

The Not So Obvious – Creating a national mindset on ABC, Carroll asked how could the No. 1 team in the country not be playing in the BCS title game? This will be a national theme Carroll and the media will pound into the heads of the country throughout the rest of the bowl season. ESPN's Trev Alberts beat Carroll to the punch when he said on the cable station's bowl special, "This BCS is no longer relevant."

The Obvious – Analysts for ABC and ESPN seemed to rally around the Trojans, and Pete Carroll thanked them for their kind words for agreeing that the Trojans were the best team in the country in the final polls.

The Not So Obvious – While ABC's John Saunders, Terry Bowden, and Craig James pushed the Trojans in the human poll rankings, the graphic on the screen promoting ABC's Rose Bowl coverage displayed USC and Michigan as No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. Of course, that was the BCS computer ranking. This was interesting because sister cable station, ESPN, was showing the Trojans as No. 1 in their bowl graphics.

The Obvious – Notre Dame ends their season at 5-7 by getting thumped by Syracuse 38-12.

The Not So Obvious – According to ESPN, the Irish loss was the nail in the Trojans' BCS coffin. If ND had won, USC would be New Orleans. It really makes a Trojan fan even more appreciative of USC's last two shillelagh massacres of the Irish. Strike up the Victory Clog.

The Obvious – The Trojans are returning to the Rose Bowl for an unprecedented 29th time and have a record of 20-8.

The Not So Obvious – The Rose Bowl has been the final game of seven USC national championship teams. The last Trojan championship team was in 1978 and that club ironically defeated Michigan 17-10 in the1979 Rose Bowl Game.

The Obvious – Don't expect the Trojans to be deflated over having to play in the Rose Bowl against Michigan, especially with a portion of the national championship still at stake.

The Not So Obvious – "This group of players have grown up in the BCS generation and that's all they know," informed Pete Carroll. However, Carroll will remind his team that co-champs is better than no-champs , and that the Trojans' 1978 national champions were a split national championship team with Alabama, a team that they beat during the season 24-10 in Alabama.

The Obvious - Sunday's BCS announcement now allows Pasadena's Rose Bowl to showcase both its parade and game at the level it was once accustomed.

The Not So Obvious - For one glorious January day, Pete Carroll and his boys have an opportunity to rightfully claim a slice of a national championship like those fabled Trojan teams of the 60's and 70s. "We'll be out to prove it," informed Mike Williams, the sophomore All-America receiver.

The Obvious - The Michigan Wolverines of coach Lloyd Carr will be bringing a very strong club to Pasadena led by running back Chris Perry and quarterback John Narvarre. Most experts feel at the end of the season Michigan could play with anybody in the country and win.

The Not So Obvious – You can also bet that Lloyd Carr will be fanning the BCS flaming blivet by reminding his team and the national media that they are playing the nation's number one team on New Year's Day in the Rose Bowl. With Carr and Carroll at the podium constantly hitting the Rose Bowl national championship theme, the country will be well educated about the ramifications on January 1.

The Obvious – There has been no love lost between the Rose Bowl folks and the BCS brass.

The Not So Obvious – It may be only for this season, but the Tournament of Roses must be in a state of rose petal euphoria, especially after being BCS snookered'em last year contracting the Trojans and Iowa to the Orange Bowl and losing further football self-esteem.

The Obvious – Thanks to the BCS and its callous respect for Rose Bowl tradition, it appeared the famed Pasadena bowl would never again regain recapture the days when the Pac-10, Big Ten, and national championship would be on the field together.

The Not So Obvious - Right, just like the Trojans would always be coach Bill Walsh's "Yesterday U." Hooray for tradition and justice. Cue Bartner's band and play "Conquest!" Is the Farm House or Beetles Cafeteria open in Pasadena for a chicken dinner?

The Obvious – The Trojans have done the college football world a prolific favor by once again exposing the pimples and warts of the BCS computer system.

The Not So Obvious - Sorry BCS disciples, but what goes around comes around. You deserve this fiasco! Have a good time on Bourbon Street rationalizing why your game in New Orleans will be for all the peewee marbles. Yeah, right, we know, you'll "tweak" it just in time for next year's debacle.

The Obvious – With the Trojans playing for a piece of the national championship against a tough Michigan team in the Rose Bowl, tickets for Granddaddy will be become a hot property from the get go. This will be a sellers' market, so you better move fast, Trojan fans.

The Not So Obvious – We say give USC fans about an hour or less to get over their BCS hangover. Once the realization hits that most Trojan season ticket holders should be able to get Rose Bowl tickets, those fans will start mapping out their Brookside tailgate sites and planning a festive New Year's Day menu.

The Obvious - Unfortunately, the BCS decision may have created a financial fiasco for a number of Trojan fans that may have sunk money into packages and air fares that are non-refundable.

The Not So Obvious – Hopefully the savings of the Trojans playing "at home" will help offset some of those losses. Certainly it was a roll of the traveling dice. However, for those Trojan fans that live in southern California, it is a relief to only worry about tickets and not air and hotel accommodations that can cost an arm and a leg.

The Obvious – After the Trojans dispensing of Oregon State 52-21, many Trojan fans at the Coliseum were frantically on their cell phones calling travel agents and brokers about Sugar Bowl tickets, housing, and air transportation.

The Not So Obvious – Before the Trojans-Beavers' game, a number of travel agencies were handing out flyers at the Coliseum promoting Sugar Bowl tours running as high as $1,798 per person.

The Obvious – Forgotten in all the maelstrom of the BCS was the fact that the Trojans had an emotionally game Saturday against Oregon State before 73,864 intense fans.

The Not So Obvious – And if enough of those 73,864 get their hands on Rose Bowl tickets, a sea of red may once again dominate the inside of the famous saucer, and we don't mean Wisconsin but "Bring it on" red.

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