Friday, December 13, 2002
Michigan goes Hollywood
By Todd Harris
Special to BCSfootball.com
If the Michigan Wolverines can leave Pasadena this Saturday still undefeated, then the folks in Ann Arbor may have to start making reservations for the Orange Bowl in January.
That kind of premature thinking may be what happened to some fine people from Tuscaloosa.
Forget everything you may have heard or seen about the Grand Promenade, otherwise known as the Rose Bowl, it's a dangerous place to take lightly. There is a long and illustrious list of great teams that have come to the grand arena with future plans in hand only to have their reservations altered.
To my friends in the maize and blue: be confident, play your game, and execute, but don't overlook the power of Pasadena. I don't know what it is, but there is definitely something magical, for better or worse, within that hallowed bowl. I know of the Luck of the Irish and the Grey Ghost, but a crafty Bruin in a rosy bowl is not something you should take lightly. Especially when the head man, Bob Toledo, has a plethora of tricks up his sleeve, and the nerves to make the call at the most unexpected moment.
UCLA is still somewhat of an enigma in this early campaign, but the Bruins survived the post-Alabama hysteria to hold off a pesky Fresno State team, so maybe Wolverine is the next entrée the Bruins serve up? One thing is certain -- if UCLA does pull off the win in the Rose Bowl, the questions will all be answered: They are for real.
With that being said, it's Michigan, under Lloyd Carr, and the Wolverines practically use Pasadena as a New Year's retreat. They will not be mesmerized by this venue; the last time they were here they won a little game called the Rose Bowl and a share of the national championship. Discipline is the Wolverines' forte, so don't look for a panicked, star-struck group of Midwesterners looking like they haven't a clue. Coach Carr will have his boys primed and ready to roll at high noon, (actually 12:30 p.m. Pacific time) in the Rose Bowl.
The facts: Both teams are using backup QBs, both teams have an outstanding running game, and both teams have Hall of Fame caliber coaches on their respective staffs.
Prediction? I don't do scores. I leave that to the folks in Vegas. But I will say this, the game will definitely be worth the price of admission, or at least the time spent on the couch listening to Keith Jackson and Tim Brant call the action.
Todd Harris is a sideline reporter for ABC Sports and is a regular contributor to BCSfootball.com.
|Michigan returns to the Rose Bowl for the first time since the 1998 Rose Bowl Game, which the Wolverines won.|