Ohio State can begin preparing to play Utah in the Rose Bowl.
As the highest-ranked Big Ten team that isn't in the College Football Playoff, No. 6 Ohio State is officially set to play the 11th-ranked Utes in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day in Pasadena.
While that berth would have gone to the Big Ten champion if the Big Ten champion was not in the playoff, Michigan’s berth as the No. 2 seed in the College Football Playoff opened the door for Ohio State to represent the conference in the traditional Big Ten vs. Pac-12 matchup.
That will mean finishing the season on New Year’s Day in Pasadena against the Utes, who secured their first-ever Rose Bowl berth by defeating Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday night.
The Rose Bowl will be the second-ever meeting between the Buckeyes and Utes, whose only previous matchup came in a regular season game in 1986, which Ohio State won 64-6.
This year’s Utes look more than capable of competing with Ohio State as they enter the Rose Bowl with a 10-3 record and a six-game winning streak that includes two blowout wins over Oregon, one of the two teams who beat Ohio State during the regular season.
Ohio State, meanwhile, will be looking to end the season on a high note after losing its final regular season game to Michigan.
Ohio State will be making its 16th appearance in the Rose Bowl and its second in the last four years. The Buckeyes most recently played in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2019, when they defeated Washington 28-23 in Urban Meyer’s final game as Ohio State’s head coach.
The Rose Bowl is set for a 5 p.m. ET kickoff in Pasadena, California on Jan. 1, 2022.