Ohio State to play USC in Cotton Bowl

The Ohio State University will play against the University of Southern California in the Cotton Bowl

The Ohio State University will play against the University of Southern California in the Cotton Bowl

Big Ten champion Ohio State, which finished one spot out of the College Football Playoff, will face Pac-12 champion USC on December 29 (7:30 p.m., ESPN) at AT&T Stadium. It was not enough for the College Football Playoff selection committee, which left both teams out of the playoff on Sunday.

USC (11-2) is the No. 8 seed despite playing one of the toughest schedules in the country and prevailing as Pac-12 champs. Now both teams will get a chance to show that maybe they belonged in the top four.

The committee slotted No. 8 USC against No. 5 Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on December 29.

Ohio State was a conference champion, but it suffered two blowout losses, one to an unranked Iowa team nearly exactly a month before Sunday.

Few teams could claim to have played a more impressive non-confernce slate.

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Once we knew the Buckeyes weren't in the playoff, it was possible that Ohio State could again end up in the Fiesta Bowl.

Debate raged over whether the committee should pick Ohio State or Alabama for the final spot.

The game will be the second Cotton Bowl appearance for the Trojans, who defeated Texas Tech, 55-14, in 1995.

Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Wisconsin fell to No. 6 and will play No. 10 Miami in the Orange Bowl, while Penn State finished No. 9 and will play No. 11 Washington in the Fiesta Bowl.

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