COLUMBUS, Ohio — In spite of all the doubts and obstacles, Ohio State ended up where most though they should be all along.
The Buckeyes were selected as the third seed in the 2020 College Football Playoff Sunday, earning a date with No. 2 Clemson in the semifinals on New Year's Day. It will be hosted by the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, will be a rematch of last year's Fiesta Bowl, when OSU blew a 16-point lead and cost itself a chance at a national championship.
Ohio State finished the season undefeated for the second straight year, but played just six games after having three canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some though the Buckeyes had too small a schedule to earn a spot in the CFP, but a seeming lack of worthwhile alternatives opened the door.
Unbeaten Alabama finished ranked No. 1, and will face fourth-seeded Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl (moved from Pasadena to Dallas because of coronavirus protocols). Along with Clemson, the Crimson Tide and the Fighting Irish each played 11 total games.
This will be OSU's fourth trip to the College Football Playoff. The Buckeyes won the inaugural tournament in 2014, but lost in the semifinals in 2016 and 2019. Both of those losses came to Clemson.