Beware minor bowls

LOS ANGELES -- The USC Trojans have a glorious record in big bowl games, which includes national championships and Rose Bowls, but when they are forced to play outside that big bowl game bubble, they have often had difficulty rising to the occasion.

For USC players who have been highly recruited and whose expectations are at the highest level, anything short of a game played on or after New Year's Day becomes as exciting as going in for a root canal. That can be dangerous against opponents that are waiting to take their shot at the Men of Troy.

Some media members are already predicting that the Trojans, a 10-point favorite to defeat Georgia Tech on New Year's Eve in the Sun Bowl, have positioned themselves for another potential upset if they don't take the Yellow Jackets seriously. Pundits are saying they won't be shocked if the Trojans defense continues to struggle against yet another option attack, especially the triple-option attack of Georgia Tech.