Traditionalists are firing up their RVs — Big 10 Conference champion Ohio State vs. Pac-12 Conference in Pasadena at 2 p.m. New Year’s Day in the Rose Bowl. Let the caravan shortly begin heading south on I-5.
The pairing was confirmed Sunday morning when the College Football Playoff selection committee chose 12-1 Oklahoma for the fourth spot behind three unbeatens — Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame.
Following Saturday’s results that included the Sooners’ victory over Texas, responsible for their only loss, there was relatively little drama in the announcement. Georgia picked up a second loss Saturday against Alabama and was ranked fifth, one spot ahead of 12-1 Ohio State.
Somewhat remarkably, despite the long Big Ten/Pac-12 tradition, the Buckeyes and Huskies have never met in any bowl, much less the Rose Bowl. Ohio State has an 8-3 lead in the regular season series, the last in 2007, a 33-14 win at Husky Stadium.
The Huskies, voted ninth in the latest Associated Press poll released Sunday, locked up the Pac-12 title Friday in Santa Clara with an excruciating 10-3 win over Utah, and Ohio State Saturday cruised past Northwestern 45-24 in Indianapolis.
The only mystery about the pairing was whether the Buckeyes would advance to the CFP field, which would have promoted Michigan to Rose Bowl.
Washington State (10-2) finished 13th in the final CFP rankings (12th in AP), leaving the Cougars out of the 12-team field of the more lucrative New Year’s Day bowls. They will play Iowa State Dec. 28 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio (6 p.m., ESPN).