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Category: Rose Bowl

Rose Bowl: Oregon goes conservative in uniforms ... for now

Ducks_300 Oregon, the program with more fashion options than Britney Spears, came out for pregame warmups at the Rose Bowl in a conservative ensemble.

The Ducks are wearing green jerseys with white pants and white helmets.

We'll see what happens when they come back before kickoff.

-- Gary Klein

Photo: Oregon running back LaMichael James dons the Ducks' uniform for Friday's Rose Bowl game against Ohio State during pregame warmups. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez / US Presswire

Rose Bowl: Ohio State is ready to go

Ohio State quarterback Terrell Pryor took to the Rose Bowl turf about 90 minutes before kickoff and appeared to be moving well despite the torn ligament in his left knee that has plagued him since October.

Wearing a T-shirt and shorts, Pryor did not run hard in warmups but was stepping into his passes on the injured knee, firing hard spirals of up to 30 yards.

"It feels a little weak. But I can't really worry about that stuff," Pryor said earlier in the week. "I've got to play through it."

Pryor, a sophomore, threw for 1,828 yards and 18 touchdowns this season while leading the team in rushing with 707 yards and seven scores. He said he didn't plan to wear any type of protective brace on his knee against Oregon.

Kickers Devin Barclay and Aaron Pettrey also looked good in warmups with Pettrey, kicking with a slight breeze at his back, hitting a 50-yard field goal try through the north goalposts.

-- Kevin Baxter

Rose Bowl: Ohio State fans are keeping the faith

The Ohio State football team got to the Rose Bowl just after noon -- or about six hours after Jada Bates (OSU class of 2001) and a half-dozen other Buckeye boosters set up their tailgate party in the back of a white SUV near parking lot F.

Bates, who hails from LeBron James' hometown of Akron, Ohio, but lives now in Sherman Oaks, rarely gets to see the Buckeyes in person. So with Ohio State back in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1997, he couldn't pass up the chance to come out and see the team -- and talented sophomore quarterback Terrelle Pryor -- in person.

"Terrelle's young, man. This is going to be the game that showcases that potential," he said..

Chimed in friend Dewyane Cephas, in between shout-outs to anyone passing in red or gray Ohio State colors:  "We're die-hard fans. I even have a Buckeye room in the house."

While Bates was lauding Ohio State's quarterback, Cephas, clad in a No. 10 Buckeye jersey, predicted the defense would make New Year's Day a painful one for Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli.

"[Safety] Kurt Coleman is going to represent, dude," he said. "He's going to hit Masoli so hard, his grandkids are going to feel it."

"Kurt Coleman is going to hit Masoli so hard in the second quarter. I'm not going to say he's going to get injured. But there's going to be some problems," Bates added. "Our defense is nasty."

He was equally sure Ohio State would win. "I'm positive," Bates said.

Patrick Reynolds, an Ohio State fan from enemy territory in Beaverton, Ore., was hopeful but not as certain. "Oregon's got a tough team," he said.

Reynolds became a Buckeye fan growing up in nearby Eagle Rock at a time when Ohio State seemed to make annual trips to the Rose Bowl, which he attended several times. For his 7-year-old son Cooper, clad in a red No. 33 Ohio State jersey, today's Rose Bowl was his first.

"I like Ohio State," he said, "because my dad likes Ohio State."

-- Kevin Baxter

A Rose Bowl by any other name ...


The lights are on at the Rose Bowl.

They won't, however, be needed at game time because it's a beautiful, clear and nearly cloudless morning in Pasadena -- as it always seems to be on the day of the Granddaddy of All Bowl Games. The San Gabriel mountains once again look incredible rising above the north rim of the stadium, so you can be sure that snowbound viewers of today's game in the North and Midwest will be calling their travel agents by halftime and booking trips to Disneyland.

As for those who are already here, judging from the traffic on the freeways and the tens of thousands of fans who got to the stadium early, it looks a heavily pro-Oregon crowd.

-- Kevin Baxter

Photo credit: Andrew Weber / US Presswire

Despite pain, Terrelle Pryor to keep engagement

Pryor Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor said Wednesday that his sore left knee continues to bother him but that it wouldn't keep him out of Friday's Rose Bowl showdown against No. 7 Oregon.

"It feels a little weak," said Pryor, who confirmed reports that he tore a ligament in his left knee in the Buckeyes' Oct. 31 win over New Mexico State. "But I can't really worry about that stuff. I've got to play through it."

Pryor, who led the team with 707 rushing yards and 1,828 passing yards this season, said he would not wear a protective brace on the knee against Oregon. And he sidestepped questions about whether Coach Jim Tressel was unhappy that Pryor told reporters of the slight ligament tear this week after the school had kept news of the injury quiet for nearly two months.

"It's not a secret," he said.

Despite the injury, Pryor threw far less in the Buckeyes' last five games than he did earlier in the season, which helped cut down on turnovers and helped Ohio State to five consecutive wins and the Big Ten Conference title. Pryor says he still wants to throw and considers himself a good passer, but Tressel has convinced him he can help the team more by running.

"I wasn't emphasizing it as much," Pryor said. "I was trying to be a quarterback and stay in the pocket and try to make the tough throws. But God gave me speed and I'm going to use it. I can throw the ball [but] if I don’t have it on the second or third read, take off with the speed that God blessed me with.

"Coach Tressel, he just put in my head that this is what God gave me, you’ve got to use it.  Right now I don’t want to prove anything. The biggest thing is getting wins. And I’ll work on whatever I’ve got to work on later on."

-- Kevin Baxter

Photo: Terrelle Pryor celebrates with fans following Ohio State's 24-7 victory over Penn State on Nov. 7. Credit: Christopher Weddle / MCT

In the BCS, the eyes of Texas are looking up at Virginia Tech

You've heard of the two-step.

How about the Texas sit-down?

As in Austin, grab a chair and get a grip on your blood-pressure medication.

Fabforum The official Bowl Championship Series standings won't be revealed until Sunday, but there is enough information available now to put together a pretty accurate snapshot.

And it's not good news for Texas. Does anyone make a giant foam finger for "We're No. 4"?

The latest unofficial standings from BCS guru have Florida and Alabama on top with one-loss Virginia Tech ahead of Texas, which checks in fourth. Rounding out the almost nailed-down top 10 is Boise State at No. 5, followed by USC, Louisiana State, Ohio State, Cincinnati and Iowa.

How solid are these standings? Well, the only piece of information missing from the formula is one of the six BCS computers, Peter Wolfe, who is holding his standings for the official unveiling.

It didn't matter that Texas got passed for the No. 2 spot by Alabama this week in the Associated Press poll, because the AP is no longer in the BCS formula.

It did matter that Texas got passed by Alabama in the Harris Interactive poll, which is used in the BCS along with the USA Today coaches' poll. Texas remains at No. 2 in that index. Texas is getting hammered right now in two computers. The Longhorns are No. 22 in Jeff Sagarin's ratings and No. 18 in Ken Massey's index.

No need to panic yet, Texas, it's still way before early. We'll be sure to tell you when to panic. Beat Oklahoma this week and, who knows, Sagarin might bump you into the top 10.

It might be a good idea to wait before making travel plans to Pasadena for this year's BCS national title game.

-- Chris Dufresne

Rio de Janeiro or Chicago -- that's the dilemma for soccer fans


Let's see, Rio de Janeiro has Botafogo, Flamengo, Fluminense and Vasco da Gama, to name only four.

Chicago has the Chicago Fire.

Rio has produced the likes of Leonidas da Silva, Romario, Carlos Alberto, Jairzinho, Zico, Ronaldo, the list is endless.

Chicago has produced two guys from Arlington Heights -- Brian McBride and Jonathan Spector.

Rio has the magical Maracana, where you can hear this.

Chicago has Toyota Park, which looks and sounds like this.

So, given all that, why would Southern California soccer fans be rooting for Chicago on Friday morning when the International Olympic Committee board votes in Copenhagen on the site of the 2016 Olympic Games?

Because it would bring the Games to Los Angeles as well, or at least to Pasadena.

If Chicago wins out over Rio, Madrid and Tokyo, the Rose Bowl is one of the projected venues for the men's and women's soccer tournaments, along with a handful of other "remote" sites.

Me? I'm rolling down to Rio regardless.

-- Grahame L. Jones

Photo: Rio de Janeiro. Credit: Antonio Lacerda / European Pressphoto Agency

Joe Paterno talks about newspapers and how much he misses Grantland Rice

Paterno_240 Penn State Coach Joe Paterno, who turns 82 in December, has a history of being crotchety with reporters, but he said this week he is still a fan of the ink-stained business.

"I get the paper," Paterno said at his weekly press conference. "I go to the bathroom. I take the paper in there and I can it. I look at it. The first thing I do is look at who died. All right. Second thing I look at are headliners, something that says Paterno is the greatest. I read it. [Laughter.] If it says 'I'm a bum,' I don't even look at it. No, I don't pay attention. What you are today isn't what you're going to be tomorrow, all right? What' you're going to be tomorrow is what you make happen tomorrow."

Modern technology, admittedly, has Paterno stumped. He said at Big Ten media day last summer he didn't know much about new-fangled means of communication.

He referred to Twitter, the hottest micro-blog, as "Twittle-do? Twittle-dee?"

Paterno, though, does still pine for print.

"I read the newspapers," he said. "I feel bad about the way things have gone with the newspaper business, with the guys, with the whatever they call it, computers, getting all that stuff on. Because it's taking away some of the guys, and I think some of the great guys I've known and who wrote well who set a standard for writing. People don't realize guys, they were all sports writers. They were all sports writers first. Grant Rice and those guys."

Grantland Rice, for the record, died in 1954.

-- Chris Dufresne

Photo: Joe Paterno walks on the sideline before the start of a game on September 12. Photo credit: Chris Gardner / Getty Images.

Tennessee's Lane Kiffin has deja-fourth-and-two


Fourth-and-two does not appear to be Tennessee Coach Lane Kiffin’s lucky numbers.

The Volunteers, trailing 19-13, drove to the UCLA two-yard line with just over two minutes to play. On fourth down, Montario Hardesty was stopped for a one-yard gain.

Kiffin, as USC’s offensive coordinator, faced a fourth-and-two situation with a little at stake during the 2006 Rose Bowl, which was to decide the BCS national champion. The Trojans had the ball at the Texas 45 leading, 38-33. On fourth-and-two, LenDale White was stopped for a one-yard gain. Vince Young drove Texas to the winning touchdown.

The common denominator? Reggie Bush wasn’t in Kiffin’s backfield either time.

-- Chris Foster

Photo: UCLA kept Tennessee's Montario Hardesty bottled up most of Saturday afternoon. Credit: Don McPeak / US Presswire

Question of the day: Who will be playing in the BCS championship game?


Who will be playing in the BCS championship game at the Rose Bowl? Reporters from across the Tribune family of newspapers will answer this question throughout the day. And we are interested in your comments too, so when you are done reading, chime in!

Nick Matthews, Newport News

Each October, Big 12 South rivals Texas and Oklahoma clash in  Dallas. This season they’ll head 1,400 miles west to stage a Red River Rematch at the BCS title game in Pasadena, Calif. True, the championship contest has never matched teams from the same conference. But there’s no rule against it, and the formula is easy. Sooners-Longhorns I is an epic (overtime, anyone?), neither loses another game, and no other team (spare me Lou Holtz’s Notre Dame hype) emerges undefeated. Oklahoma returns Heisman-winning quarterback Sam Bradford and 1,000-yard rushers DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown from last season’s BCS runner-up. Texas counters with quarterback Colt McCoy, an ornery defense and a boulder on its shoulder — a last-second loss at Texas Tech was the Longhorns’ sole blemish in 2008, and in BCS World, that doomed their Big 12 and national title hopes. Texas’ motto this season: No justice, no peace.

More after the jump

Continue reading »

Pac-10 may be close to agreement with Alamo Bowl

It's not official yet, but it appears the Pacific 10 Conference is close to reaching an agreement with the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio that would fill the conference's No.2 bowl slot and knock all other bowl partners down one spot.

The arrangement, starting after 2010 regular season, would pit the Pac-10 against the Big 12 with each team receiving $3 million.

The Pac-10, which went 5-0 in bowls last year, has been criticized by some for not having a strong enough post-season lineup behind the Rose Bowl.

The Alamo Bowl would reportedly knock the Holiday Bowl to No. 3 spot in the Pac-10 order and the Sun Bowl to No. 4.

Holiday Bowl Executive Director Bruce Binkowski, reached on vacation in Montana, said today his bowl, which pays $2.3 million per team, would have to raise ticket prices in an effort to match the Alamo's bid.

"We just didn't feel it was something we wanted to do," Binkowski said. "We'd rather keep our game as affordable as possible for our fans."

Binkowski also emphasized the Alamo deal has not yet been finalized. Pac-10 officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Other Pac-10 bowls that would be affected include the Las Vegas, Emerald, and the Poinsettia.

"It's all about the money now," Binkowski of the Holiday Bowl said. "More power to the Alamo Bowl."

-- Chris Dufresne 


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