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Penn State left out of playoff, will face USC in Rose Bowl

Big Ten champion Penn State will face Southern California in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 2.

Big Ten champion Penn State will face Southern California in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 2.

The 103rd edition of the Granddaddy of Them All will match two venerable football programs that have emerged from bad times since their last trip to this postseason showcase.

The four schools fighting for the national championship in college football are, as they are seeded from 1 to 4, Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Washington.

The Clemson Tigers will face Ohio State's Buckeyes in the Fiesta Bowl while Alabama's Crimson Tide goes against the Huskies of Washington in the Peach Bowl, which serve as the national semifinal games.

Left out from the semifinals are the Nittany Lions and Michigan, finishing fifth and sixth in the rankings.

The results show three schools from the Big Ten among the top six.

ROSE BOWL

Penn State (11-2, Big Ten) vs. Southern California (9-3, Pac-12), Jan. 2, 5 p.m. EST

LOCATION: Pasadena, Calif.

NOTABLE

Penn State: After finishing the season with a nine-game winning streak and a victory over Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game, the Nittany Lions are back in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2009.

USC: After a 1-3 start to coach Clay Helton's first full season in charge, the Trojans have won eight straight to return to their favorite postseason destination, leapfrogging Colorado to grab the berth.

LAST TIME

USC 38, Penn State 24 (Jan. 1, 2009)

BOWL HISTORY

Penn State: 4th trip to Rose Bowl, 46th bowl game overall. Lost the TaxSlayer Bowl to Georgia 24-16 last season.

USC: Record 34th trip to Rose Bowl, 53rd bowl game overall. Lost the Holiday Bowl to Wisconsin 23-21 last season.

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