Rose Bowl pre-game observations

PASADENA, Calif. -- The pageantry of the Rose Bowl is on full display. The Penn State blue band just finished its pre-game show and the famous Southern Cal band is about to take the field. Here are some other game-related notes as we near kickoff.

-- Joe Paterno was not on the field for pre-game drills. The 82-year-old Penn State coach will watch the game from the press box today. Paterno is still recovering from hip-replacement surgery. There was a chance Paterno might be down on the field before the game, but it appears he chose to avoid any chance of further injuring himself.

-- This is Paterno's 35th bowl game. He has a 23-10-1 record in the previous 34. USC coach Pete Carroll is 5-2 in bowl games.

-- The Lions are playing for more than just themselves. They're playing with a Big Ten-sized monkey on their backs. The conference is 1-4 in bowl games thus far. The Pac-10 is 4-0.

-- The line was down to 81/2, but it stands at 9 15 minutes before we tee it off.

-- A stealth bomber just flew overheard as the national anthem came to a close. That was cool.