The 10th meeting all-time between the USC Trojans and Iowa Hawkeyes marks the first since January 2003. Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer and finalist Brad Banks led the two sides into the Orange Bowl, a game that, in hindsight, marks an unofficial beginning of USC's dynasty in the 2000s.
In the 17 years since, USC has had four full-time head coaches and one interim. Despite rampant speculation each of the last two seasons, the Trojans will not have an interim for the Holiday Bowl. New athletic director Mike Bohn announced the retention of Clay Helton for 2020, which renders the bowl game something of an important tone-setter for USC's season to come.
Iowa, meanwhile, has had only Kirk Ferentz for the last two-plus decades. And with a win in San Diego, the Hawkeyes will reach 10-plus wins for the sixth time in Ferentz's tenure.