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I've seen in a number of places that for both USC and Michigan this year's Rose Bowl Game is a consolation of sorts. Maybe that's true this year, but prior to the madness that is the BCS this would always be the prize to shoot for. When I was growing up the Pac 10/Big 10 match-up almost always had some sort of national implication. If it didn't then it was always just a great game to watch.

Rose Bowl. Two magic words. The game known by the copyrighted slogan "Granddaddy of Them All." And yet a game trivialized almost to the point where USC vs. Michigan in the 93rd Rose Bowl seems like a consolation prize.

Both schools were planning on playing for the BCS championship until their final regular-season games, until previously unbeaten Michigan lost 42-39 to No. 1 Ohio State, and until previously second-ranked USC was upset 13-9 by mediocre UCLA.

Until structure was disrupted and regionalism destroyed, until voters and ratings and computers were blended to create the current system, the Rose Bowl, beginning in 1947, matched the champion of the Big Ten against the champion of the conference now called the Pac-10.

Such a tidy, historic, meaningful way to begin those New Years long gone.

There has been a lot of talk over the years about how this conference is better than that conference of how XYZ team/conference has more tradition than the others. Blah Blah Blah.

Am I disappointed that SC missed out on their chance for a third straight BCS Title Game appearance? That answer is an obvious YES! No team can ever to expect to go to the title game every year let alone compete for the chance, but outside of Nebraska in the 90's we haven't seen this kind of run for quite a while. The author here attempts to make it sound like the BCS title game is the only game in town. If there is n o BCS this is just another Rose Bowl.

Pete Carroll has always stated that playing for a Pac 10 title is always his main goal and of course he took a few a minor jabs in taking that position. That's the smart play, the BCS is so screwed up that trying to make that as your goal may leave you seriously disappointed just ask Auburn in 2004 or SC in 2003. Michigan this year has got a legitimate beef but that's a whole other discussion. But in case you are wondering here is their take:

...And regardless of all the political correctness going on this week as No. 3 Michigan discusses its Rose Bowl matchup Monday against No. 8 Southern California, there are still questions and maybe a few hurt feelings among the Wolverines and their faithful.

Because maybe justice wasn't really served when Florida surpassed Michigan in the final BCS ranking of the season. Maybe the Wolverines really do deserve that rematch with Ohio State on Jan. 8 in the national title game.

"Justice is in the eye of the beholder, or the victim, or whatever," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said Saturday.

He was making a joke. Sort of.

Truth is, if you're Michigan heading into this bowl week, the trip to Pasadena is great, but there really is no justice. Deep down, most of Carr's players probably feel they're better than Florida and at least as good as Ohio State.

That's pretty accurate.

SC had their chance and they fell short pure and simple so their only disappointment should be in their inability to get the job done. Playing in the Rose Bowl is significant, there aren't may other programs that boast 5 consecutive BCS bowl games. SC's other accomplishments are well documented.

The Rose Bowl Committee is happy with how this year turned out. They went kicking and screaming into the BCS and if they could they probably would get out of it if they had they chance. No, this is not a consolation in the eyes of some; it is disappointing not to be in AZ on Jan. 8th but compared to some of the bowl tie-ins out there I'll take it.

To me it is no consolation, we are playing in The Bowl Game that we should be playing in!