All eyes were on Pasadena on January 1, 2004, when the Pac-Ten Champion University of Southern California Trojans met the Big Ten Champion University of Michigan Wolverines in a classic Rose Bowl showdown. It was the sixth time these two schools had met in college football`s most revered bowl game, and once again, the game was played with a national championship in the balance. The Trojans hit hard and hit often as they exploded to take an early 21-0 lead 1:15 into the 3rd quarter. The Trojans threw three touchdown passes against a stingy Michigan pass defense that had allowed only five passing touchdowns all season. Michigan organized a comeback but Southern California`s defense was too much as it battered the Michigan offense for nine sacks, shut down Michigan`s running game, and delivered a convincing 28-14 victory to capture the AP`s #1 ranking and USC`s ninth National Championship crown.