Rose Bowl might opt out of Ohio State for not taking it seriously enough

A general overall view of the Rose Bowl Stadium. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
A general overall view of the Rose Bowl Stadium. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Rose Bowl is considering spurning Ohio State for Penn State because the Buckeyes didn’t take the game seriously enough last time.

Remember how Ohio State had a bunch of players opt out of the 2022 Rose Bowl Game against Utah?

Now the Rose Bowl is thinking about opting out of Ohio State.

According to a report from Nicole Auerbach and Stewart Mandel of The Athletic, the Rose Bowl is looking at No. 8 Penn State as an alternate option even if the Buckeyes are available for selection at No. 5 after this weekend’s slate of conference title games.

Why would the Rose Bowl select a lower-ranked Big Ten representative? Basically, they don’t want Buckeye fatigue.

Rose Bowl could choose Penn State over Ohio State for Big Ten spot

Ohio State has appeared in the Rose Bowl twice in the last four years, including the 2022 game. They didn’t sell out their ticket allotment and had a number of stars, including Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson and Haskell Garrett, opt out of the game to focus on NFL Draft prep.

There’s a sense that Penn State, which has been to the Rose Bowl twice this century and most recently in 2017, would appreciate the trip more with fans more likely to travel and players more likely to participate.

If Utah were to beat USC in the Pac-12 title game or TCU loses to Kansas State in the Big 12 championship, there’s a chance Ohio State won’t be available to go to the Rose Bowl anyways. They still have hope of grabbing a playoff spot.

If the Buckeyes still miss out, they’ll be even more demoralized as a team and a fanbase. The Rose Bowl apparently doesn’t want to deal with that.

We still don’t know how the next few days will play out. This could all be bluster from the Rose Bowl. We’ll find out on Selection Sunday.

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