Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer’s goal was always to get back to Indianapolis, to get that 37th Big Ten title, to prove one last time to the College Football Playoff committee that the Buckeyes had the talent to overcome the so-called inconsistencies of October.
But as the confetti fell on Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, with then-No. 6 Ohio State defeating then-No. 21 Northwestern 45-24, the committee still did not think it was enough.
Ohio State stays at No. 6 in the final edition of the College Football Playoff rankings, failing to make the playoff for the second straight season.
No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 4 Oklahoma will play for a chance at a national championship on Dec. 29 in either the Cotton Bowl or the Orange Bowl.
Like the 2017 season, the Buckeyes were in contention for the final spot in the playoff. But, even with one loss, Ohio State could not move past the 49-20 loss at Purdue on Oct. 20, despite recording ranked wins against Penn State, TCU, Michigan State, Michigan and Northwestern.
Oklahoma defeated then-No. 14 Texas 39-27 in the Big 12 Championship on Saturday, who had redeemed its 48-45 loss to the Longhorns on Oct. 6, the only blemish on the season for the Sooners.
Ohio State will play in the Rose Bowl against Washington on Jan. 1.
Story updated with Ohio State’s bowl game.