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Pete Carroll dreaming of a football playoff

December 30, 2008 |  9:45 pm

Pete Carroll signs autographs after practice Tuesday.

There was more talk of a college football playoff today during Rose Bowl news conferences, with USC Coach Pete Carroll saying he advocated such a system following Penn State Coach Joe Paterno's lead.

"I don't think any competitor who gets to this level would ever want to see it any other way," Carroll said. "It's not saying the bowl system isn't great and I love the traditional matchups, but I still want the issue settled on the playing field and I wish we could do that."

Carroll said there were "a half dozen teams" worthy of national title consideration -- his Trojans and Rose Bowl rival Penn State among them.

As for how the Trojans would fare against the teams that will play for the national title on Jan. 8, Carroll said, "I would never back away from any opportunity to play [Florida or Oklahoma]. I think with our defense that we have, I think we can beat anybody. I don't have any question in my mind that could happen."

This much is certain: It won't.

-- Mike Hiserman

Photo: Pete Carroll signs autographs after practice Tuesday. USC plays Penn State in the Rose Bowl on Thursday. Credit: Ric Francis / AP