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USC gets flowery treat for new year: Rose Bowl matchup with Penn State

USC gets flowery treat for new year: Rose Bowl matchup with Penn State

By the evening of Sept. 24, USC and Penn State had completed a month of football with seasons nose-diving toward oblivion. Penn State had just lost by 39 points to a division rival. A day earlier, the Trojans had dropped their second Pac-12 Conference game in two tries.

Neither team had a winning record. Neither team was ranked. Neither team has lost since.

Now they are headed to the Rose Bowl.

USC reeled off eight consecutive victories after starting 1-3, enough to overtake Pac-12 South Division champion Colorado in the final College Football Playoff rankings.

Washington, which won the Pac-12 title Friday, was selected for the CFP. That opened the Pac-12’s...

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