Ohio State football is headed to the Rose Bowl.
That’s the good news.
The bad? The Buckeyes were left out of the College Football Playoff for the second consecutive year despite winning the Big Ten.
The College Football Playoff committee announced Sunday its final four is No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 4 Oklahoma.
Ohio State finished No. 6, behind SEC runner-up Georgia at No. 5.
The announcement was not much of a surprise because the Sooners were ranked ahead of the Buckeyes before the two teams beat Texas and Northwestern, respectively, in their conference championship games Saturday.
Ohio State has played in 14 Rose Bowls and won seven.
They last went to Pasadena following the 2009 season, beating Oregon 26-17 on Jan. 1, 2010.
This time around the Buckeyes will face Pac 12 champion Washington on Jan. 1, 2019.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said Saturday night after his Buckeyes beat Northwestern 45-24 in the Big Ten championship game coaching in the Rose Bowl would be a dream come true.
“I’ve never coached in that game,” Meyer said. “(Former Buckeye) 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.”
Senior captain Terry McLaurin was among those who said after the win over Northwestern the Buckeyes would accept their fate regardless of what the committee decided.
“Whether we’re in the playoff or the Rose Bowl, we’re going to play hard,” he said. “We do it for ourselves and obviously we want to play for the big thing, but that’s the granddaddy of them all, so I’m sure there won’t be too many long faces if we end up in that game, too.”
While fans and media tend to view each season — at least at places like Ohio State — as playoffs-or-bust, McLaurin said those inside the locker room have a different perspective.
“There’s a lot of pressure on people think if you don’t make it to the championship then it’s a lost season, but we don’t necessarily think it that way.
“Our first goal every season is to get to Indy and then when we get to Indy, win, so wherever we end up, we’re gonna play hard,” McLaurin said. “Especially with all we’ve gone through this year, losing Coach Meyer at the beginning of the season and having some ups and downs, a tough loss at Purdue, but this team is real resilient.
“There’s a lot of outside noise going on but the good thing about being with your brothers going through it together you know what to expect from each other. We came to work every day to get better. We didn’t really worry about things we couldn’t control. We just wanted to show we could get better each and every week and play for each other.”