"There was a little bit of lobbying going on by both of them. Telling me Urban Meyer has never been in the Rose Bowl and by gosh, he really wants to be in that game."
With Ohio State blowing out a Top 10 Michigan team on the road for the Buckeyes' fourth-straight win over the Wolverines, it's no surprise that the team and its head coach, Urban Meyer, are lobbying for a shot at the historic Rose Bowl game. Should nothing crazy happen during the coming weekend to somehow vault Ohio State into the discussion for the top four teams for the College Football Playoff, it's no secret that the Buckeyes would be thrilled at a shot to play in the Rose Bowl. In fact, when discussing the potential bowl invitation with Scott Jenkins (the Chair of the Rose Bowl Management Committee) Gene Smith did his best to point out that Coach Meyer has never been in the Rose Bowl before and would love to be in that game, come bowl season.
For Meyer alone, it would be quite the holiday treat. Meyer has been one of the top college football coaches in the country for the past decade, with a résumé that includes three national championships, five conference championships and the highest winning percentage among active college coaches with at least 10 years of experience. Add in his record in bowl games (9-2) both on the BCS level and undefeated in the College Football Playoff games, and you can see why adding a Rose Bowl appearance at the very least, would be another marked accomplishment for his coaching career. It would also mark Ohio State's first trip to Pasadena since 2009, when the Buckeyes upset a favored Oregon team.
"It mattered in the end result. Conference champions, as you mentioned, is one of the criteria for us to consider when we have two teams that are basically equal, so they definitely matter. I don't know that I can put a value on how much they matter."
The chances of Ohio State somehow sneaking into this season's College Football Playoff are pretty slim, but not totally out of the realm of possibility. Depending on how the Buckeyes end up being ranked in Tuesday's release of the College Football Playoff poll, they could potentially still have an outside shot if the teams ahead of them end up falling in their conference championship games. Clemson will play North Carolina (who also makes a case to make the Playoff should they upend the first-ranked Tigers), Alabama faces off against Florida, and Stanford plays USC. The Cardinals have a similar ranking to Ohio State as of now, though after upsetting No. 6 Notre Dame, are a clear threat.
Even if one of those teams were to lose, it seems unlikely that the Buckeyes can make it. Oklahoma is a lock to get in as the Big 12 conference champion, while the winner of Michigan State and Iowa are likely to secure a spot in the Playoff as well. With a couple of teams on the outside looking in, it will be interesting to see how the committee views the situation. Ohio State could be playing the role of last season's TCU and Baylor, who were the two teams left out in favor of the Buckeyes. Ohio State had just won the Big Ten championship, and that was the main reason the Buckeyes edged out the two Big 12 teams. Both TCU and Baylor had no conference championship game and it hurt them in the end.
"I feel that he's just trying to be there for us, see the bigger picture, not just think about the loss, but think about the big picture. There's a lot of basketball to be played. We might be 2-3 right now, but it's not too late to turn this around."
Thad Matta is in a bit of a pickle. The Ohio State head coach knew coming into this season that the Buckeyes weren't going to be gunning for a deep run in the NCAA tournament. But a 2-3 start with losses to teams like Texas-Arlington and Louisiana Tech weren't exactly what he had in mind, either. Ohio State is a young team fighting for some level of consistency in what has been a bumpy start. The team will be hard-pressed to find it against a 10th-ranked Virginia team and the schedule doesn't get much better from there. In 19 days, the Buckeyes will have to face the top-ranked team in the country, the Kentucky Wildcats.
Both games don't appear to have a rosy outlook for Ohio State. But it could be an opportunity to see if the Buckeyes can learn from previous outings and at the very least get valuable experience against some of the top teams in the nation. At this point, Ohio State needs to focus on conference play and the upcoming conference schedule. It's a team that is just looking to take the next step. They have talent on the roster, can score the ball fairly well (though haven't in crucial moments) but need to focus on keeping possession of the ball with a rough turnover margin at -3.2.
"As great as Norman has been - and he's been special - Coleman has more picks than the team's star cornerback (five to four), and he's tied for the NFL lead with his five interceptions."
It's always nice to see former Ohio State players doing well in the NFL. One of the best performances so far this season has been from former Buckeye safety Kurt Coleman, who starts as one of the safeties on the undefeated Carolina Panthers. The secondary has played a large part in making the Panthers' defense so formidable and though much of the praise has been directed towards cornerback Josh Norman, Coleman has made a significant impact as a NFL veteran.
Coleman is in his sixth season in the NFL, his first with Carolina. The safety was drafted in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL draft to the Philadelphia Eagles, where he spent his first four seasons. So far this year Coleman has a career-high five interceptions, good enough to tie for first in the NFL, and has 33 tackles and one sack. The hard-hitting safety was a leader for the Buckeyes' secondary during his college career.