Welcome to the circus: Impressions from Rose Bowl media day

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

LOS ANGELES -- Just finished Rose Bowl Game Presented by Citi media day.

Penn State for 30 minutes. USC for 30 minutes. Get your questions in.

Here are some first impressions:

  • Penn State coach Joe Paterno began his moderated news conference while sitting on a platform by telling reporters to get on with it because he was in a hurry.

  • USC coach Pete Carroll began his news conference before the news conference actually began. Reporters gathered around him casually on the stage. He kept talking well after the 30-minute horn sounded.

  • USC's players were much louder. They counted down the final seconds and then jumped up to leave.

  • Penn State's players don't do a lot of media during the season, but quarterback Daryll Clark didn't seem like he was overwhelmed. He actually seemed to be enjoying himself. Thoughtful guy.

  • Question Penn State's players are tired of: "What are you guys going to do against USC's superhuman defense?"

  • Question USC's players are tired of: "You guys lost to Oregon State. Penn State whipped Oregon State. What the heck happened?"

  • Paterno and his players rejected the notion they are playing for Big Ten pride considering the recent lack of success in BCS bowl games against USC and the SEC.

  • USC's junior quarterback Mark Sanchez said he's not thinking about the NFL until after the game, but there were moments when he seemed to talk about the Rose Bowl game as his career finale. Please, take that with qualification as only an impression, but more than a couple of reporters raised their eyebrows. Of course, he may have just been faking us out.

More later... got to do a podcast.