Ohio State did not make the College Football Playoff, but it will step back into a traditional mode when — coming off its 45-24 win over Northwestern in the Big Ten championship game late Saturday night — it will take on Pac-12 champion Washington in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.
The CFP selection committee announced its final ranking early Sunday afternoon, with no real surprise: No.1 Alabama, No.2 Clemson, No.3 Notre Dame, No.4 Oklahoma.
Defending national champion Alabama will meet Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl semifinal on Dec. 29, with Clemson and Notre Dame colliding in the Cotton Bowl semi the same day.Join the conversation at Facebook.com/groups/BuckeyeXtraFans and connect with us on Twitter @BuckeyeXtra
Selection committee chairman Rob Mullens indicated the biggest debate came in ranking four through six.
“No one was unequivocally better than the other … so we leaned on the protocol, the vote came out Oklahoma was four, Georgia was five and Ohio State was sixth,” Mullens said.
As for Ohio State, it will return to Rose where it last played at the end of the 2009 season, upsetting Oregon 26-17.
The Buckeyes are 7-7 overall in the Rose, dating back to the first trip in 1920 when they fell 28-0 to California. It’s where OSU clinched the 1968 national championship with a win over an O.J. Simpson-led Southern California.
And it became known as Ohio State’s holiday retreat in the 1970s, the Buckeyes playing there at the end of their 1970, ’72, ’73, ’74, ’75 and ’79 seasons. Since then it has become a once-a-decade destination, the Buckeyes losing USC after the ’84 season, beating Arizona State after the ’96 season, and the match with Oregon after the 2009 season.
Washington is coming off a Pac-12 championship game win over Utah on Friday night. The Huskies, in the fifth year under coach Chris Pedersen, went 8-3 in the regular season, falling in the opener against Auburn, and losing in mid-year to Oregon and California. But they rebounded with four straight wins, including 28-15 in the snow over Washington State which gained the Pac-12 North berth in the league title game.
Ohio State owns an 8-3 record over Washington all-time, though this will be their first meeting in the Rose. The Buckeyes have won the past three meetings, in 1995 and 2003 in Columbus, and in Seattle in 2007.