USC, which has played in 29 New Year's Day bowls, makes its second New Year's Eve appearance when it faces Michigan State in the John Hancock Bowl, Monday at 11:30 a.m. on CBS.
"This is one of the very best matchups," USC Coach Larry Smith said. "We have a much more attractive game than some of the New Year's Day games. This is a real clash between hard-nosed teams that will really play hard. When all is said and done, it should have one of the highest ratings of all the bowl games."
Michigan State (7-3-1) features a strong running attack, led by Tico Duckett, the sixth-leading rusher in Division I-A, averaging 125 yards per game.
Brad Nessler and Dan Jiggetts will call the game.
The other New Year's Eve bowl, the Domino's Pizza Copper Bowl, matches California (6-4-1) and Wyoming (9-3). It airs at 2 p.m. on WTBS.