Football Urban Meyer prepares for Ohio States trip to the Rose Bowl

Ohio State redshirt senior wide receiver Terry McLaurin (83) celebrates with Urban Meyer after he scored a touchdown in the first half of the B1G Championship Game vs. Northwestern on Dec. 1. Ohio State won 45-24. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorComing into Sunday’s College Football Playoff selection, it was expected that Ohio State would be left on the outside, even after winning the Big Ten, finishing off a 12-1 season with a 45-24 win against then-No. 21 Northwestern.Those expectations became reality, as the Buckeyes finished No. 6, behind both No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 5 Georgia in the final College Football Playoff poll, giving Ohio State a trip to Pasadena, California for the Rose Bowl against No. 9 Washington, the Pac-12 champion.Meyer said, unlike in 2017, he was not that surprised to see his team outside of the top four.“Those are three really good teams,” Meyer said. “The last thing we’re going to do is stand up here and criticize the committee. We’re not going to do that.”Since the creation of the College Football Playoff in 2014, Ohio State has been ranked within the top seven spots in every final ranking released. Even with missing by three spots or less in any given year, Meyer said he is not calling for an eight-team playoff because it would “change the entire model of college football.”But being on the outside of the playoff does not change what Meyer thinks of the team he has this season.“I don’t want to devalue what we just did,” Meyer said. “We just won the Big Ten Championship.”Looking back at the season, Meyer sees a turning point in the year as something that occurred before he was even eligible to coach this season.During Ryan Day’s three-game tenure as acting head coach, junior defensive end Nick Bosa went down with an injury in the third quarter against TCU. The injury would end up costing Bosa his season, as he moved his efforts toward the 2019 NFL Draft.“When Nick Bosa went down, that changed our team,” Meyer said. “He was a great player, but he was so much more than that.”Many saw Oklahoma’s 12-point win against then-No. 14 Texas as the nail in the coffin for Ohio State’s playoff hopes, regardless of the events of the Alabama-Georgia matchup.Meyer agreed, saying he was worried about the Buckeyes’ playoff hopes after the Sooners came out with a victory.Even with the Sooners being placed at No. 4 as expected, the Bulldogs coming in ahead of Ohio State after a loss to the Crimson Tide came as a surprise to Meyer.Still, Meyer called Georgia a “heck of a team,” and is looking forward to the matchup against Washington on Jan. 1.As far as Meyer’s thoughts on his Heisman hopeful, redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who through for 499 yards and five touchdowns on Saturday, he left no doubts.“Oh he’ll be in New York,” Meyer said. “He’s going one way or another. I’ll fly him there myself.”

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