However, the game turned out to be meaningless since neither team would have made it into the College Football Playoff.
Big Ten champion Penn State and MI were left out, with Alabama, Clemson and Washington claiming the other three spots.
There are five power conferences.
Big Ten champion Penn State missed the playoff despite its 38-31 victory against Wisconsin on Saturday and a victory against Ohio State earlier in the season. If the Crimson Tide beat the Huskies, Alabama's title odds would rise to 62 percent; if Washington pulls the upset, the CFP championship would basically be a coin flip no matter who wins in Clemson-OSU.
Barrett's head coach Urban Meyer said during the Fiesta Bowl teleconference that having Barrett available for Ohio State's run this season has meant a lot to him as his coach.
While the tournament traditionally selects the next-highest ranked team from the conference, it is not obligated to do so, according to Rose Bowl Management Committee Chair Scott Jenkins. Penn State (11-2) was passed over for the playoff despite beating Ohio State during the regular season and defeating No. 8 Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game.
But, he added Sunday, 99 percent of his players are excited and happy for the chance to play Southern California in the Rose Bowl on January 2 in Pasadena, Calif.
Despite being the No. 3 seed, Ohio State is a 3-point favorite over No. 2 Clemson, according to expert R.J. Bell. USC didn't win its conference or division but has two better wins - Washington and Colorado - than anything on Oklahoma's résumé.
Two-loss MI was in the running, but dropped two of its last three games. I tell you what.let's expand the playoffs to six teams. Third seed Ohio State would then face sixth-seeded MI, while fourth-seed Washington would then face fifth-seed Penn State. I can't imagine that Clemson, Washington or Ohio State could hang with them. Simple enough, and everybody that should be in the playoffs is in. "You never know what happens in a short playoff like this". Ohio State defeated three top-10 opponents in Wisconsin, Nebraska and MI and recorded the most impressive out of conference victory with their pummeling of Oklahoma in Norman, the defacto Big 12 champion. Expansion is not something they will do quickly. Just get together that first weekend of December and pick the four teams you want in the playoff. In December when most students are out of class anyway is the ideal time. Thus, this game will feature two of the hottest teams in the country, and should provide an exciting encounter to watch. "We got the right four". And Ohio State doesn't play for the Big Ten title, but its resume is judged to be one of the nation's four best. This time around there's a possible National Championship at the end of the rainbow. In that six-team scenario I mentioned above, MI would face bitter rival Ohio State for a second time.
At least there was no quibbling with Alabama, which wrapped up a 13-0 season Saturday by dusting Florida in the SEC title game.
This season I'll be providing my own personal Top 25 poll each week during the college football season.
If either Ohio State or Washington would be blown out in a playoff game, Penn State and its fans understandably would claim it would have been more competitive.
PASADENA-The theme of the 2017 Rose Parade is, "Echoes of Success", well, the tagline applies to the football game as well. -- Randy Smith has been covering sports on radio, television and print for the past 45 years. He has been a member of the Vol Network staff for 30 years. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.
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