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Ohio State: Big Ten-champion Buckeyes are heading to the Rose Bowl

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Ohio State coach Urban Meyer claimed another Big Ten title on Saturday in Indianapolis. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)

Ohio State Football

Ohio State: Big Ten-champion Buckeyes are heading to the Rose Bowl

COLUMBUS — Another Big Ten championship year will end for Ohio State short of the College Football Playoff.

The consolation prize? A trip to the Rose Bowl.

After closing the regular season with a dominant win over rival Michigan and then pulling away for a comfortable win over Northwestern on Saturday night in the conference title game, the Buckeyes still didn’t make a strong enough impression on the selection committee to earn a spot in the four-team field.

Despite strong arguments in head-to-head comparisons with both Notre Dame and Oklahoma, Ohio State didn’t get the nod for the second consecutive year even after surviving arguably the toughest division in college football and winning one of the strongest leagues overall. And for the third year in a row, the Big Ten champ won’t play for a national title, which might again prompt pushes to overhaul the system and potentially lead to expansion.

That won’t help the Buckeyes now, of course. So, Urban Meyer will get to make his first visit to Pasadena and Ohio State will face Washington in the traditional matchup against the Pac-12 champions, which also echoes last season when the program faced USC in the Cotton Bowl.

The Buckeyes made their final case with a 45-24 win over Northwestern in Lucas Oil Stadium, riding another epic performance from quarterback Dwayne Haskins and an opportunistic defense to add to the program’s trophy case. And they didn’t hold back from the celebration in a boisterous locker room after the victory even with the uncertainty swirling around them in the College Football Playoff race.

From the players to the coaches, Ohio State felt it had done enough to earn an invitation after being snubbed last year — but also made it no secret they would embrace a chance to play in one of the most storied bowl games on the schedule.

“I’ve never coached in that game,” Meyer said during his postgame press conference. “Kirk Herbstreit and I talk about it all the time. So, if that’s where we end up, we’d be so proud to be there.

“And I know our players would feel the same.”

That ticket is officially punched now.

Ohio State is Rose Bowl bound.

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The Rose Bowl is fine, but its glorified scrimmage.

College football is broken


Time for the B1G and the PAC-12 to tell the committee expand the playoff to more teams or our conferences with do their own thing. The 4 team playoff has been a joke since it was first discussed as an option. Time for an 8 team playoff.

Kid Buckeye
Kid Buckeye

From the play calling for most part I would swear Urban wanted the Rose Bowl and not the CFP. We only opened it up when NW got close.


Austin Ward is Lettermen Row's senior writer covering Ohio State football and basketball. The award-winning journalist has covered the Buckeyes since 2012, spending five of those seasons working for ESPN after previous stints at the Casper Star-Tribune and Knoxville News Sentinel.

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