Sometimes everything just falls into place: The USC Trojans will return to the Rose Bowl on Jan. 2 to take on Penn State. It’s the first time in Pasadena for both teams since they faced off Jan. 1, 2009. USC won that game 38-24.
The matchup against the Nittany Lions was announced Sunday, one day after Penn State won the Big 10 championship.
USC was selected to represent the Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl after conference champion Washington was selected to compete in the College Football Playoff for the national title, and Pac-12 South champion Colorado fell in the rankings to No. 10 — one place behind USC.
The Trojans are “probably one of the most talented teams in the country,” the playoff selection committee chair, Kirby Hocutt, said Sunday in an interview on ESPN.
USC started the season 1-3 but followed up with an impressive eight wins in a row — including victories over both Washington and Colorado. Washington will face top-ranked Alabama and Clemson will take on Ohio State on Dec. 31; the winners will play for the national title Jan. 9 in Tampa.
Information on Rose Bowl tickets is available online.