|Rose Bowl: Michigan vs. USC - Jan. 1, 5 p.m. ET (ABC) Preview - Photos|
Big Ten champion
#4 AP & BCS
#1 AP, #3 BCS
|• Michigan: Season results | Stats | Roster | Bowl history |
• USC: Season results | Stats | Roster | Bowl history
• Rose Bowl: All-time results | MVPs
I think this is a game that Michigan wins. Michigan has everything going for them. The Wolverines have played well on the field. They're healthy. They've gone through some battles in this regular season against top-caliber Big Ten opposition.
I know that Pete Carroll and USC's guys are talking about focusing on the game. But the reality remains that the Trojans could be playing for a portion of the national championship. And that's pressure. But even if USC wins, the writers still may go with the Oklahoma-LSU winner; you just don't know.
Also, the Pac-10 hasn't provided the level of competition for USC that the Big Ten could for Michigan. Yes, I know Oregon beat Michigan. But Michigan is playing really well right now.
With their offensive line, Michigan is a phenomenal team right now. That line is the envy of most teams in America. You put behind it an established veteran like John Navarre, a great running back like Chris Perry and outstanding receivers, and Michigan has all the elements. The Wolverines whipped up on Ohio State in their last game, and the Buckeyes are the defending national champion.
And Michigan has the defense to keep Matt Leinart, Mike Williams and the USC offense from putting up their usual 40-plus points per game. The Trojans don't have a superstar running back who can step up and carry them like Chris Perry, but they have three guys who each average five yards per carry.
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• USC's O provides tough test for Michigan's D
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