This bowl may be the Granddaddy of Them All -- USC is facing Michigan in it for the eighth time -- but both teams would much rather be playing a week later in the BCS title game against Ohio State.
The Trojans (10-2) were in position to do just that after a win over Notre Dame bumped them past Michigan (11-1) for the No. 2 spot in the BCS standings. A stunning 13-9 loss to unranked UCLA the following week, however, closed USC's regular season and ended its hopes of reaching a third straight BCS title game.
USC has a 21-9 record at the Rose Bowl, including 5-2 against Michigan, despite losing there to Texas in last season's national championship game. The Wolverines are 8-11 in this bowl, including losses in their last two appearances.
"The day will never come in my lifetime where there'll be a disappointment in playing in the great tradition of the Rose Bowl, where every kid in the country will be watching and cheering for somebody," Carr said. "It's been a special team, a special year. We'd like to win one."
Rose Bowl (8) USC 5:00pm (3) Michigan ET