Fiesta Bowl

USC to play Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl

USC to play Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl

USC won the Pac-12 Conference. Ohio State won the Big Ten Conference. It was not enough for the College Football Playoff selection committee, which left both teams out of the playoff on Sunday.

They will, at least, combine to make the most compelling non-playoff bowl of the season.

The committee slotted No. 8 USC against No. 5 Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Dec. 29. The matchup offers a traditional Pac-12 vs. Big Ten bowl game in a year when the Rose Bowl hosts a playoff semifinal.

“That's not too hard to get fired up for,” USC coach Clay Helton said. “It's USC versus Ohio State. That alone is going to excite your football team.”

Many pundits had...

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