|Tommy Trojan statue, and gameday good luck charm, from the mid 1930's that was left behind in the family belongings of University of Southern California graduates Willard & Maxine Jenks ... FIGHT ON! Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)|
USC Football Tradition At The 103rd Rose Bowl Gets A Boost For The Ages
Many folks who love and follow college football, and believe this form of the game to be the pinnacle of this organized team sport and competition, believed that the NCAA's push for a playoff upon which a national champion is crowned might dilute the luster of many of the post season Bowl contests and venues. Not so, with the venerable institution ... everyone in Southern California, the Pac-12 Conference, and the Big Ten Conference know as ... The Rose Bowl.
Try as the forces may, change at the Rose Bowl will never come easy ... if ever. Especially when the post season match-up features two of the most robust college football programs rebounding from the ebb and flow found through a change at the head coaching position or NCAA sanctions.
SCREW the NCAA's Bowl Championship Series (BCS) which, more times than not, is shaped by a sporting press corps largely based on the East Coast of the United States. This is the Rose Bowl baby, and it has become known through the ages as "The Grand-Daddy Of Them All" for good reason.
This 103rd Rose Bowl Game matched the Big Ten Conference champions Penn State Nittany Lions (BCS 5) against the USC Trojans (BCS 9) of the Pac-12 Conference, a rematch of the 1923 and 2009 Rose Bowls, the former the first appearance for either team in the bowl and the latter the most recent appearance for either team.
How great a Rose Bowl contest was this game? Let us count the ways through the records (9) that fell which were gathered through 102 previous contests at the Pasadena venue located at the top of Arroyo Seco.
For background music during reading, please use what the production staff used to bump into, and out of, commercial breaks during the ESPN broadcast from the Rose Bowl - California Dreamin' by Sia (originally - The Mama's & Papa's, 1966).
1) Deontay Burnett: Most touchdown receptions (3) - Burnett tied Braylon Edwards' 2005 record of three touchdown catches in a Rose Bowl. That included the Trojans' final touchdown, which tied the game at 49-49 with just 1:20 to play.
2) Matt Boermeester: Most field goals made (three) - Boermeester tied a Rose Bowl record with three field goals made (including the game-winner as time expired), a mark held by five other players. He is, however, very likely the first kicker in Rose Bowl history to do a dab after a game-winning field goal.
3) Penn State: Most points ever for a losing team (49) - A mark that the Nittany Lions certainly wish they didn't own.
4) USC: Biggest fourth-quarter comeback - The Trojans set a Rose Bowl record by overcoming a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to get the win.
5) Trace McSorley and Sam Darnold: Most touchdowns responsible for (5) - The two quarterbacks were phenomenal, with both tallying five touchdowns. That is tied for the most touchdown scores ever for one player in a Rose Bowl game with two other players.
6) Sam Darnold: Most touchdown passes in a game (5) - Darnold did all of his damage through the air, setting the Rose Bowl mark with five touchdown passes.
7) Sam Darnold: Most points ever in a Rose Bowl game (32) - Darnold accounted for 32 total points — five touchdowns and a two-point conversion — as he broke Vince Young's record for most all-time points scored in a Rose Bowl.
8) Sam Darnold: Most yards ever in a Rose Bowl (474 yards) - And most incredibly, Darnold broke Vince Young's single game Rose Bowl record of 467 yards, which was set during that iconic 2006 national championship game between Texas and USC.
9) Highest Scoring Rose Bowl ever (101 points) - The teams easily sailed past the previous mark of 83, set in 2012 by Oregon and Wisconsin.
It was an incredible Rose Bowl, and we very likely won't see anything like it again any time soon.
(ht: FOX Sports)
Cue the USC Trojan Marching Band and the song "CONQUEST" - or as this next article states as it ends ... "God, I hate that song."
This edited and excerpted from Penn Live -
Enduring USC band's "Conquest" after gut-punch loss is a special slice of hell for Big Ten fans
By David Jones | firstname.lastname@example.org
Penn State fans, you got the true Big Ten Pasadena experience this time in all its gory Technicolor detail. By that, I mean you were initiated into the conference brotherhood of heartbreak at the hands of USC.
It's a birthright for anyone at Michigan or Ohio State, losing an excruciating game to the Trojans at the world's most enchanting athletic venue. There is no more bittersweet experience in sports than attending a Rose Bowl, gazing agape at the vividness of the beauty all around you. The colors all seem richer even when it's cloudy, the air like velvet even when it's chilly.
Then your team makes a valiant effort, you think victory is at hand and at the very end it's snatched away by the Evil Empire in cardinal and gold. Ask anyone in Ann Arbor or Columbus. This is a rerun they've lived through over and over.
As a kid back in the 1960s and '70s, I watched Woody Hayes take four different teams into the Rose Bowl to meet USC. Two of those ended in just such a painful manner. Then, when I was an OSU undergrad, yet another narrow defeat at the very end in the post-1979 game. Michigan folks can tick off the Pasadena losses to USC: 1969, 1976, 1978, 1989, 2003, 2005.
Northwestern (1995) fans of a certain age know the feeling, too. And though they never play at the Rose Bowl, Notre Dame folks know all about it.
Like some of the OSU and Michigan defeats, I don't think Penn State's post-2008 loss qualifies because it was never in doubt. Which is sort of a prerequisite for real agony and the unique pain yet to come.
And what's that nadir moment? The sound of the Trojan band in their war-helmeted outfits piping up when their triumph is clear. And I don't mean the little ditty they play the whole game after defensive stops like Florida State's tomahawk chop tune. Or the Fight On song they strike up after touchdowns.
I mean their victory march. Just hearing it brings on dark memories from my childhood, recollections I keep in the back of the mind's bottom drawer with moving days and dying pets. It's the dirge from a recurring nightmare.
USC's band only plays the song when they know they've won. It's called Conquest and the reason it sounds like the soundtrack out of a 20th Century Fox epic from the '40s is that's exactly where it came from. It's their version of Red Auerbach's victory cigar and the I Believe chant begun by Navy midshipmen.
It's worse, though. Because it drips with a special arrogance. And as much as you hate it, you know it's a great piece of music.
The conductor uses as his baton a gilded gladius, the stubby sword of ancient Greek and Roman foot soldiers, stabbing it in the air with the marching cadence. In the back of your mind you know this is the band that played Tusk behind Fleetwood Mac. It's the band that crossed over into the record industry and show business.
All the while the damn horse is prancing around [Traveler]. He's not just a horse, of course. He has to be white. Like Dr. Evil's cat.
But you know what the very worst part is? You take in the whole scene in despondence, the USC fans mimicking the trumpet flourishes with their "Oh-oo-oh-ooooo" and the incomparable Song Girls in their white sweaters calmly punching the air with a V for victory in all their confident perfection. And you allow yourself the fleeting thought:
If you'd been born into their tribe and their golden land, you'd love being one of them.
That's the worst part! That's the part that drives you nuts. Because you'll have to think about this loss for nine months. You're flying home the next day. Winter has only begun.
Meanwhile, they'll be in California. And they'll probably forget about it tomorrow when they leave work early for the beach.
God, I hate that song.
We, at MAXINE, couldn't be happier to read such a well written and well-rounded review of the winning college football tradition experienced at the University of Southern California whose teams are known as the Trojans. Again, as one hears the musical strains of the trumpets blare Conquest - FIGHT ON!
TAGS: University of Southern California, USC, Football, Rose Bowl, 103rd Rose Bowl, Pac-12 Conference, Big Ten Conference, Penn State, Trojans, Nittany Lions, Records, Conquest, Sam Darnold, Matt Boermeester, Deontay Burnett, MAXINE