The Ohio State Buckeyes will settle for playing in the Cotton Bowl instead of the College Football Playoff.
Big Ten champion Ohio State’s opponent will be Southern California, the champions of the Pac 12. The game will be played at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 29 on ESPN at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Ohio State beat Oregon in the national championship game in 2015 at the same stadium.
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Ohio State last played in the Cotton Bowl in 1987, beating Texas A&M 28-12. It last played USC in 2009, losing 18-15.
“This is a traditional matchup,” ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit said on ESPN. “This is a great one.”
The Buckeyes have lost seven games to the Trojans. Ohio State’s last win in the series came in 1974. The teams have played seven times in the Rose Bowl, with USC winning five times.
The Buckeyes finished the regular season 10-2, rose to No. 8 in the College Football Playoff ranking and then beat No. 4 Wisconsin 27-21 on Saturday in the Big Ten Championship. The Buckeyes jumped to No. 5 in the final playoff ranking Sunday.
No. 4 Alabama won the final playoff berth and will play No. 1 Clemson in the Sugar Bowl. No. 2 Oklahoma will play No. 3 Georgia in the other semifinal, the Rose Bowl.