Ohio State to face Washington in the Rose Bowl

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PASADENA (CNS) – Ohio State’s failure to finish in the top four of the final College Football Playoff rankings means it will face Washington in the 105th Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.

The 12-1 Buckeyes were sixth in the final rankings released Sunday, while the 10-3 Huskies were ninth.

Ohio State assured itself of at least a berth in the Rose Bowl with a 45-24 victory over Northwestern in the Big Ten title game Saturday night, breaking the game open with two touchdowns in the final nine minutes, 11 seconds.

The Buckeyes were hoping for losses Saturday by two of the teams ranked above them to lift them from the sixth spot they had in the rankings released Tuesday into the playoff.

While either top-ranked Alabama or fourth-ranked Georgia were assured of a loss in the Southeastern Conference title game, Oklahoma’s 39-27 victory over Texas in the Big 12 title game earlier Saturday virtually ended the Buckeyes’ playoff hopes.

The top three teams in the final ranking were unchanged from Tuesday — Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame. Oklahoma moved from fifth to fourth. Georgia fell to fifth following its 35-28 loss to Alabama.

Ohio State will be making its 15th Rose Bowl appearance and first since the 2009 season when it defeated Oregon, 26-17, evening its Rose Bowl record at 7-7.

The Buckeyes won the Big Ten Conference championship in 2014 but did not play in the Rose Bowl as they were selected for the playoff and won the national championship. Ohio State also won the Big Ten championship in 2017, a season when the Rose Bowl was a playoff semifinal. Instead, the Buckeyes played in the Cotton Bowl, defeating USC, 24-7.

Washington assured itself of its first Rose Bowl berth since the 2000 season with a 10-3 victory over Utah on Friday in the Pac-12 title game, which moved the Huskies up two spots from Tuesday’s rankings.

Washington will also be playing in its 15th Rose Bowl, tying Ohio State and Stanford for third on the all-time list behind USC, which has made 34, and Michigan, which has made 20. The Huskies improved to 7-6-1 in the Rose Bowl with a 34-24 victory over Purdue in its most recent appearance on New Year’s Day, 2001.

Washington would have played in the Rose Bowl for the 2016 season as the Pac-12 Conference champion, but was selected for the playoff, losing to Alabama, 24-7 in a semifinal.

This will be the first meeting between Ohio State and the Huskies in the Rose Bowl. The Buckeyes lead the series 8-3, including a 33-14 victory in the most recent game in 2007.

Ohio State has had a season filled with turbulence. Coach Urban Meyer was placed on paid administrative leave on Aug. 1 while the university investigated claims that his wife knew about allegations of domestic violence against an assistant coach.

Meyer was suspended for the first three games of the season by the Ohio State Board of Trustees after the investigation determined he mishandled domestic assault allegations against former assistant coach Zach Smith.

The Buckeyes won their first seven games, suffered their only loss Oct. 20 against Purdue, and have won their past five games, scoring 159 points in their last three games.

The Huskies lost their season opener to Auburn, 21-16, won their next five games, then lost two of three, losing to Oregon, 30-27, in overtime and California, 12-10. Washington has won its four most recent games.

Additional tickets for the Rose Bowl will go on sale Tuesday via www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 653-8000.

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