With their two teams set to meet in the Rose Bowl at 5 p.m. on New Year's Day in Pasadena, California, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and Washington coach Chris Petersen fielded questions from media members on the Rose Bowl coaches' teleconference on Sunday evening.
A quick sampling of what the two coaches had to say:
- On the Rose Bowl: "It's been a bucket list and a dream to go coach out there."
- Meyer said the Buckeyes will begin watching film on Washington on Monday.
- Meyer said he doesn't believe being snubbed from the College Football Playoff diminishes the opportunity to play in the Rose Bowl. "I've always wanted to be in the Rose Bowl."
- Petersen said he has "nothing but respect" for the job Meyer and his staff have done at Ohio State. Expects the game to be a "tremendous challenge."
- Petersen said he first met Meyer while he was offensive coordinator at Boise State and Meyer was head coach at Utah. The two crossed paths at a high school in Southern California while recruiting. Petersen said Meyer was also more recently gracious enough to give him the opportunity to attend a practice and pick his brain.
- On Washington's season: "It's been rocky. It's been tough." Said a month ago, things weren't looking good and it didn't look like they would accomplish much this season, but the Huskies turned it around to win the Pac-12.
- Petersen noted that Washington has not played in the Rose Bowl for a long time (last appearance was 2001) and said his players are excited about having the opportunity to play in the game. Said it was the game he grew up watching, as it was for Meyer.
- Petersen said he feels a need to refocus his team after every game, and that the Huskies – like Ohio State – had to deal with playoff expectations, perhaps unrealistic, but is proud of the way his team battled back from three regular-season losses.
- On the potential for College Football Playoff expansion: "I think everybody wants that thing to get expanded, and hopefully it will soon."
Stay tuned with Eleven Warriors for much more coverage over the next four-plus weeks as the Buckeyes and Huskies prepare to finish off their seasons in a traditional Big Ten vs. Pac-12 matchup in Southern California.