Ohio State’s bowl destination became more uncertain with Alabama’s win over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.
While the Orange Bowl appeared to be the most likely destination for the Buckeyes if they didn’t make the College Football Playoff, that was contingent on Georgia beating Alabama. The Bulldogs’ 27-24 loss to the Crimson Tide bumped them out of the top four but not below Ohio State in the final CFP rankings, putting Georgia – ranked sixth in the final CFP rankings – in the Orange Bowl as the highest-ranked SEC or Big Ten team that didn’t make the playoff.
That means the Buckeyes are destined for a trip to either the Cotton Bowl, Peach Bowl or Fiesta Bowl.
None of those three bowl games have designated conference tie-ins, so it’s possible Ohio State could play in any of the three. The Cotton Bowl may have the most incentive to push for the Buckeyes to play in its game, though, as Ohio State hasn’t played in the Cotton Bowl since 2017. The Buckeyes played in the Peach Bowl just last year, while they’ve made three trips to the Fiesta Bowl since 2016.
It’s also uncertain who Ohio State will play in one of those games, though possible opponents include Oregon, Missouri, Ole Miss, Oklahoma and Liberty, who is likely to be the highest-ranked Group of 5 team after Tulane’s loss to SMU in the American Athletic Conference championship game.
The official College Football Playoff selections will be made at 12:15 p.m. Sunday. Ohio State will find out its official bowl destination at 2:30 p.m. Sunday when the non-playoff New Year’s Six bowl matchups are announced.
Editor’s note: This story was updated after the top six spots in the College Football Playoff rankings were revealed on Sunday afternoon.