No. 6 in final CFP rankings, Ohio State appears headed to Rose Bowl to face Utah

Bill Rabinowitz
The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio State coach Ryan Day and the Buckeyes will officially learn their postseason destination around 2:30 p.m. Sunday. They are expected to be Rose Bowl bound.

Ohio State will learn its bowl fate Sunday afternoon, and it almost certainly will be a trip to the Rose Bowl to play Pac-12 champion Utah.

Michigan's 42-3 victory over Iowa in the Big Ten title game Saturday night ensured the Wolverines' spot in the College Football Playoff semifinals at the Cotton Bowl or Orange Bowl. If Iowa had upset the Wolverines, Michigan would have likely gone to the Rose Bowl.

Laura Farber, the chair of the Rose Bowl management committee, told The Dispatch this week that if Michigan made the CFP, the Rose Bowl would likely pick the next-highest ranked team from the Big Ten. That would be Ohio State (10-2), which is No. 6 in the final CFP rankings. The Buckeyes moved past Oklahoma State and stayed ahead of Baylor after the Bears' victory over the Cowboys in the Big 12 title game Saturday.

Utah (10-3) won the Pac-12 championship Friday night by defeating Oregon 38-10, its second lopsided victory over the Ducks in three weeks. Oregon defeated Ohio State in Columbus on Sept. 11 by a final score of 35-28.

Utah has never been to the Rose Bowl. The Utes joined the Pac-12 in 2011.

Ohio State has played in 15 Rose Bowls. The Buckeyes last went three years ago, defeating Washington 28-23 in Urban Meyer's finale as OSU's coach.

Ohio State and Utah have played only once. The Buckeyes won 64-6 on Sept. 27, 1986 in Columbus.

The College Football Playoff semifinalists will be announced at 12:15 p.m. Sunday. Alabama, Michigan, Georgia and Cincinnati are virtual locks to be the picks.

The other New Year's Six bowl pairings will be announced at 2:30 p.m.

Bill Rabinowitz covers Ohio State football for The Columbus Dispatch. Contact him at or on Twitter @brdispatch.

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