Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Some leftover links from New Year's Day and a look ahead to the Big Ten's final chance at redemption in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Penn State's defense played three-deep zone and tried to limit damage against USC, but Mark Sanchez and Damian Williams still made the Nittany Lions pay, David Jones writes in The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News.
"They played a lot of vanilla stuff and just tried to prevent the big play," said Williams in the boisterous Trojan locker room. "They were very disciplined, very structured. But, at the same time, when you're so schooled and so disciplined, it kind of turns into machine mode. And we were able to find gaps in the defense and Mark had a heck of a day."
The Rose Bowl experience remains unmatched, but the Big Ten's inability to compete on the field hurts the time-honored rivalry, Chris Dufresne writes in the Los Angeles Times.
Iowa guard Julian Vandervelde wants his university to give head coach Kirk Ferentz a lifetime contract, and it might not be a bad idea with the Cleveland Browns lurking, Sean Keeler writes in the Des Moines Register.
"Love him back. Bring the years. Bring the faith. Give those assistants, especially coordinators Ken O'Keefe and Norm Parker, a nice raise. They've earned it.
'At this point, you kind of have to give Coach what he wants, as long as it's reasonable,' linebacker A.J. Edds said with a wry smile. 'I mean, you can't argue with the results.'
You can't. The Hawkeyes, left for dead in early October, went out and made a statement Thursday. When it comes to Ferentz, it's time for the university to do the same."
For the second straight year, Michigan State finished a bowl game disappointed with missed opportunities but hopeful about the future, Joe Rexrode writes in the Lansing State Journal. The Spartans didn't get the breaks they needed to beat a superior Georgia team, Michael Rosenberg writes in the Detroit Free Press.
Ohio State offensive coordinator Jim Bollman wasn't thrilled that the team's plan to use two quarterbacks on the field together in the Fiesta Bowl leaked out, Tim May and Ken Gordon write in The Columbus Dispatch.