Sunday, December 8, 2013

Rose Bowl: Stanford to Play Michigan State

The Stanford Cardinal will return to the Rose Bowl  on New Year's Day for the second consecutive year and will face the Michigan State Spartans, who won the Big Ten championship on Saturday by upsetting No. 2 Ohio State.
Stanford qualified for the trip to Pasadena by thoroughly beating Arizona State in the Pac-12 Conference title game at Tempe, Ariz., 38-14, on a cool, clear night in the desert.
The Spartans, who boast the best rushing defense in college football, knocked the Buckeyes out of the BCS Championship game against Florida State with a 34-24 victory at Indianapolis. Michigan State last played in the Rose Bowl game in 1988, beating USC 20-17. Stanford won its first Rose Bowl game in 40 years earlier this year by knocking off Wisconsin.


add Rose Bowl: Stanford and Michigan State will help celebrate  the 100th edition of the game, which was first played in 1902 in Pasadena's Tournament Park. In that inaugural contest, Michigan shut out Stanford, 49-0. For the centennial, Dodgers announcer Vin Scully has been chosen to be the Tournament of Roses Parade's Grand Marshal. Scully will be on the field for the ceremonial coin toss.


add USC: The Trojans had a busy week off the field. After USC lost its final game of the season to UCLA, it hired former Pete Carroll assistant coach Steve Sarkisian as its new coach. Sarkisian, who has spent the last five years coaching the Washington Huskies,  takes the playbook from  Ed Orgeron who was hired as interim coach after Lane Kiffin was fired. It has been reported that USC will pay Sarkisian a salary of $4 million a season, a figure similar to what Kiffin was being paid.
On Sunday, USC was offered a berth in the Las Vegas Bowl against Fresno State on Dec. 21. The Bulldogs won the Mountain West Conference championship Saturday night by defeating Utah State at home.
USC's offensive coordinator Clay Helton will coach the team in Las Vegas. Ironically, USC will open the 2014 season against Fresno State at the L.A. Coliseum.


add UCLA: The Bruins accepted a berth in the Sun Bowl against Virginia Tech on Dec. 31. The New Year's Eve game will be televised on CBS. Last week, UCLA extended the contract of Coach Jim Mora after the second-year coach had a conversation with officials at Washington about the Huskies vacant coaching position. Mora is lobbying for an upgrade of UCLA's practice facility and increases in pay for his assitant coaches.

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