This is No Consolation Game for Ohio State

Kevin Wilson Ohio State Football Buckeyes


Ohio State last played in the Cotton Bowl 31 years ago, becoming the first Big Ten team to take part in the Texas classic.

The Buckeyes won that game 28-12, and OSU fans still have happy visions of Chris Spielman intercepting a pair of passes, and returning one for a pick six.

It was a nice cap to a season that about six weeks earlier featured a very tough loss to Michigan. By virtue of the win at Ohio Stadium that year, the Wolverines went to the Rose Bowl. The consolation for the Buckeyes was the Cotton Bowl, except they didn’t treat it like a consolation, and neither is this year’s edition of the Buckeyes.

Unlike that team, this Ohio State team won a Big Ten title, and they also got a win over Michigan. There have been some ups and downs along the way, but this has been a very good season, and now the Buckeyes want to close it out in the best way possible.

“Very much. We had a very strong year but also had some setbacks and didn’t play our best,” offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said. “Things didn’t go our way or we didn’t execute our plays as well as we wanted to or get the outcomes we wanted all the time. But these guys came back with purpose. And I think our coaching staff has a lot of respect for these players. It’s a great group of seniors, very, very talented team.”

Missing out on the playoffs was a blow to everybody, but they don’t hand out rings and trophies for moping, so the team moved on pretty quickly. It still hurts, but that isn’t keeping this group from getting ready to play a very well-respected opponent.

“We didn’t play well a couple times,” Wilson said. “But the way they played down the stretch, we’ve practiced. We’re a tremendously competitive team in practice. And our practices have been awesome. We are going to have to play very, very well against a talented great USC team.”

It’s not often that fans will get to watch a bowl game between two conference champions, but that’s exactly what you’ll be getting from this edition of the Cotton Bowl. So don’t call it a consolation game.

“I don’t know if it’s consolation, two champions playing. It’s the Cotton Bowl we’re in and we’re excited to be here,” Wilson said. “We play in a great offensive state. Southern California plays in a great offensive state. There’s a couple states in our country known for offense and people love it. And the passion and the way they treat you in the bowl games, it’s a blessing to be here. It’s where we’re at on the record. Our kids are excited. Our coaches are excited. It sets up to be a good game.”


6 Responses

  1. Our record against both Clemson and USC is not good. I hope we can turn things around.

  2. The game played in the Cotton Bowl on January 1st, 1987…the score was actually Ohio State 28 Texas A&M 12. (not 24-12 as reported) Chris Spielman and Cris Carter played a great game. Spielman had an interception for a touchdown. This was the game where Earle Bruce came out dressed up after being in his regular coaching attire during warm-ups.

  3. Who is saying it’s a consolation game except for sportswriters needing to stir up drama? I was hoping for this matchup although was hoping it would be in the Rose Bowl. I never expected Ohio State to be in the playoff after the Iowa loss and didn’t believe they deserved the spot so there was no heartbreak about that. Had they taken care of business they’d have made the playoffs so no tears cried. USC and OSU has more meaning and class than the two bowls and four teams in the playoffs so there’s delight to be found in this matchup. They have a great history between each other and are two of the top teams in all of college football and even though neither are ranked in the top four this year it is an honor and challenge to play them in a major prime time bowl. Despite their seven game winning streak, we’re only a few games down. OSU controlled the series until that streak. These teams are always a great matchup. Friday is New Years Day for me!

  4. It is a consolation game in the current environment of the 4 team playoff. This game is the NIT. The coaches can say whatever but the players feel it in their hearts. Wilson saying this crap rings pretty hollow in light of how the coaches indicated there was no “let down” after the PSU game and how hard they practiced and how focused they were. I remember at least one coach indicating that they were specifically looking for signs of let down and saw none. Well……how’d that turn out. I don’t think I’ve seen less motivated play and coaching from a Buckeye team since we lost to Air Force in some bowl back in the early/mid 90’s. I think Bucks outweighed their D line by ……like….60 pounds a man. Anyhow…..I’m picking USC……OSU is for USC….what Iowa used to be for Bucks.

    1. “This is the NIT”. “OSU is for USC….what Iowa used to be for Bucks”. What a bunch of baloney. How many players did you call up and ask them what they “feel in their hearts”? I’ll go out on a limb here and say… none. I really doubt the OSU players will have any trouble getting up for playing USC. If you can’t get up for it, then go buy some Viagra. Personally, I’m looking for a very enjoyable and competitive game to watch. Meanwhile, I’m sure there are reruns of Downton Abbey or some other show you can watch while the game is on.

    2. I can only hope that Lucius is right and GoBucks isn’t. Wilson’s comments are empty coachspeak, don’t understand why writers even bother reporting such tripe. The real key is the preparation in the past month. We’ve all seen lots of emphasis on new recruits who haven’t done a darn thing yet, I can only hope there’s been as much work on the current players beating USC during practices. I will say that, in my experience, its much more like a left coast team or SEC team to mail it in a bowl game where they feel “let down”. Anyone who thinks the OSU/USC game isn’t meaningful is missing the point- ditto for Wisky and Miami.

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