The sport of college football has evolved through the years, but no matter how it has changed, the Rose Bowl still holds the distinction as the most glamorous bowl game on the schedule each season. This year on New Year’s Day it’ll be Pac-12 champion No. 11 Utah taking on No. 6 Ohio State in a meeting between two of the best teams in the country to not make the College Football Playoff field.
The Buckeyes were a win against Michigan away from a likely playoff berth (we can’t assume they’d have beaten Iowa, but we can assume a little). At the same time, Utah is a team that would be hit with the “nobody wants to see this team in the playoff” if an expanded 12-team format existed this season.
So while a national title might not be on the line, do not be dismayed. It’s still the Rose Bowl, and it’s a Rose Bowl with a fantastic matchup. It’s also a rare one, as this will be only the second meeting between Ohio State and Utah in football. Let’s hope this one is closer, as Ohio State won the lone meeting 64-6 in 1986.
How to watch Rose Bowl live
Game: Rose Bowl
Date: Saturday, Jan. 1 | Time: 5 p.m. ET
Location: The Rose Bowl — Pasadena, California
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Ohio State vs. Utah: Need to know
Ohio State without key players on both sides of the ball: It’s an unfortunate reality these days that players with NFL futures often opt out of bowl games when they aren’t playoff games, even the Rose Bowl. Ohio State will be without Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave in this game, a duo that combined for 135 catches, 1,994 yards and 25 touchdowns this season. Now the good news is if there’s an area the Buckeyes can afford to be without players, it’s the receiver position. Jaxon Smith-Njigba is playing, and he was the team’s…