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Published: Saturday, 12/23/2006

Michigan's early arrival in California is late

Lloyd Carr is happy to arrive in Callifornia. The Michigan coach is 5-6 in bowls. Lloyd Carr is happy to arrive in Callifornia. The Michigan coach is 5-6 in bowls.

LOS ANGELES - Michigan kept up its recent tradition of arriving in Southern California well in advance of the Rose Bowl.

The third-ranked Wolverines arrived yesterday evening at their team hotel 10 days before their New Year's Day meeting against No. 8 Southern California.

This time around, their early arrival was a bit late. Mechanical issues kept the team's plane on the ground in Michigan for more than three hours before the team was able to take off.

"It's been quite a day, but we're here, that's the main thing," Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr said after arriving at the team hotel. "We're a little late, but where else would you rather be?"

Michigan (11-1) was selected by the Rose Bowl as a Bowl Championship Series at-large selection after Big Ten champion Ohio State (12-0) and Florida (12-1) earned spots in the BCS Championship Game.

It will be Michigan's 20th appearance in the Rose Bowl and its third in four seasons. The Wolverines have an 8-11 record in their previous appearances. They lost to Texas 38-37 in the 2005 game.

"We know what to expect," senior linebacker David Harris said. "We know how to handle ourselves. There are a lot of good things to do out here, but we have to focus on the game."

A win would give the Wolverines just their second 12-win season in school history. Michigan went 12-0, including a Rose Bowl victory over Washington State, in winning the 1997 national championship.

The Wolverines have played the Trojans in the Rose Bowl seven previous times, losing five, including a 28-14 USC victory in 2004.

Michigan has earned a trip to a bowl game in 32 consecutive seasons, the longest active streak in college football. However, the Wolverines have not won a postseason game since 2002.

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