If it’s not at the very top of the list, the 82nd Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic is once again in the discussion for best bowl matchup in college football.
Sure, Ohio State (11-2) and USC (11-2) both had aspirations of being the fourth team included in the College Football Playoff, which would have kept their national championship hopes alive for another month. But when the CFP committee decided instead to go with one-loss Alabama as the No. 4 seed on Sunday, getting to play in one of the premiere bowls in the country at AT&T Stadium in Arlington isn’t a bad consolation prize.
The Buckeyes, who defeated Wisconsin to win the Big Ten championship on Saturday, have fond memories of JerryWorld, having defeated Oregon to win the national title on Jan. 12, 2015.
USC, which edged Stanford to win the Pac-12 title over the weekend, hasn’t played in the Cotton Bowl since routing Texas Tech 55-14 on Jan. 2, 1995.
This is the first time the Cotton Bowl Classic involved two conference champions since 1987 when Ohio State defeated Texas A&M.
Here’s are some of the highlights of the week-long schedule both teams will follow during their stay in the DFW Metroplex in preparation for kickoff on Dec. 29 (7:30 p.m., ESPN):
Both teams will arrive on Saturday, Dec. 23. Ohio State will stay at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas while USC will be at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine.
Ohio State will hold its first practice on Christmas Eve at Euless Trinity High School while USC’s first practice will be held the same day at Coppell High School. Both teams will then have practice at AT&T Stadium the rest of the week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday before kickoff on that Friday.