Ohio State is in the playoffs for a second-consecutive year. The 3-seed Buckeyes will face the 2-seed Clemson Tigers in a rematch of last year’s classic semifinal. The Buckeyes will face Clemson in the Sugar Bowl.
The other semifinal matchup pairs 1-seed Alabama against 4-seed Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl, which has been moved to Arlington, Texas this year. Alabama defeated Florida 52-46 in last night’s SEC Championship, while the Irish fell to Clemson in Saturday’s ACC Championship Game. Despite the 34-10 loss to the Tigers, the Playoff Committee felt that Notre Dame was still one of the top four teams in the nation.
While all four teams are excited to have made the playoffs, there is certainly a bit more than just excitement coursing through the Buckeyes’ veins right now. The final memory of Ohio State’s 2019 football season was receiver Chris Olave breaking a route and quarterback Justin Fields throwing an interception in the final seconds of last year’s 29-23 Fiesta Bowl loss in the College Football Playoff semifinals.
The Buckeyes left the field that night believing they were the better team and feeling like every break went Clemson’s way. Even though both teams look different than they did a year ago, there’s still going to be plenty of familiarity between the two squads. And as everyone knows, familiarity breeds contempt.
No, this isn’t a true rematch, but for those Buckeyes still suiting up for the Scarlet and Gray, there is definitely some unfinished business.
The semifinals are scheduled for New Years Day. The Rose Bowl is a 5:00 pm kickoff and the Sugar Bowl will kick off around 8:45 pm. Both games will air on ESPN.