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#pounditWednesday, February 8, 2023

Report: Ohio State had interesting request for Rose Bowl

Ryan Day with a hand out

Nov 30, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day before the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State’s athletic department had an interesting request for the Rose Bowl, according to a report.

Ohio State Rivals site “Dotting the Eyes” reported this week that the Buckeyes requested that the Rose Bowl not select them to participate in their January 2, 2023 bowl game.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 champions are designated to play in the game each year, but things change if one of the conference champions gets selected to participate in the College Football Playoff. In that case, the second-place team is often chosen as a replacement, but the Rose Bowl has the option to take another team.

“If the next-highest ranked team is in a ‘cluster’ of teams, meaning there is another team or teams from the same conference ranked within several spots of each other, the Tournament of Roses will select the team from that cluster that will result in the best possible matchup for the Rose Bowl game,” the Rose Bowl’s website says.

If 12-0 Michigan beats 7-4 Purdue in the Big Ten Championship Game, Michigan would win the conference and go to the College Football Playoff. That would leave Ohio State as the next team up. However, the Buckeyes would prefer that 10-2 Penn State (or another school) take the spot.

Ohio State has played in the Rose Bowl in two of the last four years, while Penn State has not played there since 2016. Buckeyes fans did not sell out their allotment of tickets for last season’s game. Part of the issue is that Ohio State had played in the game recently. The other issue is because of the loss to Michigan, the game is somewhat of a disappointment rather than the reward it typically is for teams.

Additionally, the matchup might feel stale for Ohio State fans especially since they would likely be playing Utah in a rematch of last season’s game, or Washington, in a rematch of the 2018 season’s Rose Bowl. They reportedly would prefer to go to the Orange Bowl, which takes the highest SEC or Big Ten team to face the ACC champion.

Of course, this could all become a moot point if Purdue beats Michigan. If the Boilermakers were to upset the Wolverines, they would head to Pasadena. You could bet that Purdue fans would be thrilled to cheer on their team in their first Rose Bowl since the 2000 season, when Drew Brees was in school.

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