Rose Bowl considering taking Penn State over Ohio State if Buckeyes fail to make CFP

Should no 5 Ohio State (11-1) failing to make college football playoffs this weekend, Rose Bowl strongly considering No. 8 to take Penn State (10-2) in place of the Buckeyes to avoid a repeat appearance, according to several people with knowledge of the discussions, dumping the loss to their rival Michigan. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Tournament of Roses officials met with the Big Ten on Wednesday to discuss the possibility.
  • The Rose Bowl has always won the ranked Big Ten team when it lost the league champion to the playoffs.
  • However, the Rose Bowl website states: “If the next-best-seeded team is in a ‘cluster’ of teams, meaning that another team or teams from the same conference are ranked within multiple spots of each other, the Tournament of Roses will be selected for the Team from that cluster that makes the best possible matchup for the Rose Bowl game.
  • Unlike Ohio State, which has been to Pasadena twice in the past four seasons, Penn State has not been in the bowl since the 2016 season.

When asked what would count as a “cluster” in the rankings, Rose Bowl Management Committee chair Laura Farber responded the athlete “There is no magic number. Teams must be ranked within several spots of each other… While the Tournament of Roses makes the selections, we do so in conjunction with our conference partners. It’s collaborative.”


The Buckeyes’ two most recent Rose Bowl appearances were against the Big Ten’s two possible Pac-12 opponents, No. 11 Utah (should it win the Pac-12 championship game) or No. 12 Washington (should it win the Pac-12 championship game) or No. 12 Washington (should it beat the Utes lie). the final ranking).

Rose Bowl officials are also concerned that Ohio State fans will not be traveling in large numbers to the game. Last year, the school sold just 13,000 of its 20,000 allotted tickets.

Should the Rose Bowl take Penn State, Ohio State would likely go to the Orange Bowl, which pits the highest available Big Ten or SEC team against the ACC champion.

What you say

Penn State Coach James Franklin was asked Saturday who will champion PSU to have the best bowl game possible.

“(Sporting Director) Pat (Kraft) is going to take care of all these things,” Franklin said. “He has tremendous experience with it. I know the Big Ten will do whatever it takes to help all teams within the conference achieve the best possible situations. There (were) some interesting games last week, there (are) some interesting games this week that are affecting us, putting us in a more favorable position, but we’ll see how it goes.”

Franklin was also asked how important a New Year’s Six Bowl was to perception.

“You want to try and go to the biggest game you can possibly go to,” Franklin said. “I think things have been released when they go to a 12 team model like everyone says how many times would you have a chance to be there.”

“But yeah, I think it’s still important to go to the biggest and best games out there in the postseason,” Franklin continued. “And whether that’s a New Year’s Eve six bowl game or whatever. It still has value.”

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(Photo: Orlando Ramirez / USA Today)