Happy 2016, Buckeye fans! While we didn't end up quite where we'd hoped at the beginning of the season, Ohio State still has a chance to end the season on a high note today. The No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes will face off against the No. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl today. As you may recall, the Buckeyes and the Fiesta Bowl have gotten along pretty well in the past. Today's game will be Ohio State's seventh appearance in the bowl, the most by any team since the inaugural 1971 game. So far, we're 4-2, with one of those wins being a national championship win over Miami. A win today would leave us tied with Arizona State for second-most wins in the bowl's history. (ASU is 5-1 at the Fiesta Bowl, and Penn State currently has the most wins at 6-0.)
The game's going to be big, so let's not miss a second.
When and where is the game today?
The Fiesta Bowl, despite switching sponsors, is still being played in University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ. Kickoff will be at 1 p.m. ET.
How do I watch it?
The game will be on ESPN and WatchESPN. While ESPN will be showing the traditional/regular broadcast, WatchESPN will give you a couple options. You'll be able to watch the version on ESPN, the Spanish broadcast via ESPN Deportes, or the Skycam view via ESPN 3. (Skycam, in case you don't know/remember, is the view from the overhead camera that flies around the field.) Our TV crew for the game will be Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman, and Todd McShay. (While I don't have confirmation, the Spanish announcers will probably be Eduardo Varela and Pablo Viruega, as they have done it the last two years.) You can also tune in to 97.1 FM The Fan or your local Ohio State radio network affiliate.
Are they doing GameDay today?
They are, though they won't be in Arizona with us. The crew will be in Pasadena for the Rose Bowl, featuring No. 6 Stanford and No. 5 Iowa. That game starts after ours at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN.
How did the Irish do this season?
Notre Dame had a pretty good season this year. They finished just one spot below us in the College Football Playoff rankings (No. 8) and finished the regular season 10-2, their two losses coming to Clemson and Stanford. As far as losses go, there are worse. Their head coach, Brian Kelly, is 5-3 in bowl games over his career. (Urban Meyer is 9-2.) The Buckeyes are 3-2 all-time against the Fighting Irish, with their last win coming back in 2006, when the Buckeyes and the Irish, ranked back-to-back, met in the Fiesta Bowl. (Wait, that sounds familiar.)
What happened in the Playoff games yesterday?
If you were rooting for the Sooners or the Spartans, it didn't go well. No. 1 Clemson got off to a slow start but ended up beating No. 4 Oklahoma 37-17. The football gods weren't quite so nice to Sparty. No. 2 Alabama destroyed No. 3 Michigan State 38-0 in what I imagine many Crimson Tide fans view as revenge against the Big Ten for last season, though not even the Lannisters are that ruthless.
How has the rest of the Big Ten fared in the bowls?
As of this morning, we're 3-2; Nebraska beat UCLA, Minnesota beat Central Michigan, and Wisconsin beat No. 25 USC. (Indiana lost to Duke, and, as we just covered, MSU lost to Bama.)
Three other Big Ten teams looks to improve that record alongside Ohio State today. No. 13 Northwestern takes on No. 23 Tennessee in the Outback Bowl at noon on ESPN 2. No. 14 Michigan faces No. 19 Florida at 1 p.m. on ABC in the Citrus Bowl, and No. 6 Stanford battles No. 5 Iowa in the Rose Bowl at 5pm on ESPN. (Penn State plays tomorrow at noon on ESPN against Georgia in the Taxslayer Bowl.)
May 2016 hold many great things for the Buckeyes, starting today!