COLUMBUS — Eight days after having a very bad day, Ohio State had a very good day Sunday when, as expected, it was one of four teams selected for the college football playoffs.
The fourth-seeded Buckeyes (11-1) will face defending national champion, No. 1 seed Georgia (13-0) at the Peach Bowl at 8 p.m. on Dec. 31 in the playoff semifinals. No. 2 seed Michigan (13-0) will face No. 3 Texas Christian University (12-1) at the Fiesta Bowl at 4 p.m. Dec. 31 in the other semifinal.
“The goal was to be in the college football playoffs. That was the goal for the start of the season and here we are. It’s a weird way to get here, but in the end, that’s it. Ohio State coach Ryan Day said at a news conference on Sunday.
“Now it’s just what we’re doing to move forward. Certainly the year-end game will stay in our minds as motivation, but now it’s just about maximizing this month” , did he declare.
Ohio State was No. 2 in college football playoff standings when it was defeated 45-23 by Michigan on Nov. 26.
The Buckeyes looked like they had a great chance of making the playoffs after that loss. But he got help the same day when both Clemson and LSU lost. But the biggest help came from Utah, which shook USC 47-24 in the Pac-12 Championship game last Friday and opened the door for the Buckeyes to move up to 4th in the final playoff standings. .
If Ohio State beats Georgia and Michigan wins its game against TCU, it would give OSU a chance to make up for its disappointing performance in the regular season game against its biggest rival in the national championship game on 9 January.
“You don’t want to get ahead of yourself, but that would be amazing. It would be historic to have this opportunity. We thought about it, everyone thought about it,” Day said. “But the draw we have is we have to go down to Georgia and face the defending national champions in Atlanta. If someone had said that at the beginning of the year you could go play against the defending champions in Georgia, we would have said: “Let’s go”. ”
“It all kind of went the way we thought it would. Now we just have to run with it and do it,” he said.
During an interview on ESPN’s coverage of the CFP matchups announcement, Day said, “It’s hard to explain the range of emotions that have unfolded here over the past seven days. I’ve said it before, it’s like a second life. Now there is a two-game season ahead of us. There is incredible excitement. Guys are just bouncing around the establishment.
Ohio State practiced twice last week, knowing it would perform at its worst in a big bowling game, but hoping for more.
“We wanted to play the Big Ten championship game. It hurts. It wasn’t a good week, it was a horrible week,” Day said. “As soon as you see your name appear on that screen, you have something to do. It was invigorating and exciting for the whole program.
“Georgia is a very good team. They are the defending national champion, they just went 50 over LSU (in the SEC championship game). They’re going to get our guys’ attention and our guys know how they’re going to have to play to win this game,” he said.