Shades of Woody Hayes and Donnie Moore, Washington and Ohio State—college football opponents 11 times previously but not for 11 seasons—will meet for the first time in the postseason in the 105th Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.
The Huskies (10-3) haven’t played in the Pasadena showcase since 2001; the Buckeyes (12-1) last made a Rose Bowl appearance in 2010.
These teams last faced each other in the regular season in 2007 in Seattle, when Ohio State beat the Huskies 33-14. The coaches were Jim Tressel and Tyrone Willingham.
This meeting will mark the first time Washington has played against an Urban Meyer-coached team—and it could be his final game. Reports out of Ohio suggest Meyer will step away from the Buckeyes following the Rose Bowl because of health reasons.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 were the two Big 5 conferences left out of the College Football Playoff, which will pair the SEC’s Alabama (13-0) and Big 12’s Oklahoma (12-1) in the Orange Bowl and ACC’s Clemson (13-0) and independent Notre Dame (12-0) in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29.
Ohio State finished sixth in the selection committee rankings, two slots out of football’s final four, trailing Georgia (11-2) as teams left out.
“I know they’re always good,” said UW coach Chris Petersen, who spent time in Columbus with Meyer shortly after getting the Huskies job. “I know the job Urban does and how he coaches. They’re always going to be a team that is very elite whether they’re in the four-team playoff or right there. That’s kind of how he does it.”
The Associated Press rankings released on Sunday had Ohio State at fifth and Washington ninth. Georgia, UCF and Michigan separated them in the poll.
The Huskies come off a 10-3 victory over Utah on Friday in the Pac-12 championship game, while Ohio State won the Big Ten title with a 45-24 win over Northwestern on Saturday.
While shut out of the college playoff, Meyer seemed satisfied with a trip to the Rose Bowl, a game he's never coached in.
"No disrespect to the other bowl games, because they’re awesome," the Buckeyes coach said, "but the Rose is the one we’ve always looked forward to.”
The Buckeyes have won eight of the 11 games they have played against Washington. The first meeting came in Seattle in 1957, during Jim Owens’ debut season as the UW football coach. Woody Hayes’ Buckeyes emerged as easy 35-7 winners at Husky Stadium.
A year later, Owens’ Huskies, making great rebuilding progress, nearly pulled a monumental upset, losing 12-7 in Columbus.
In 1965, Ohio State escaped with a 23-21 victory at Husky Stadium on a late field goal.
The most memorable UW-Ohio State matchup came the following year: Moore, a junior running back from Tacoma, rushed 30 times for 221 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Huskies to a shocking 38-22 victory in Columbus. A few weeks later, Moore unbelievably was dropped from the team for what seemed to be a mindless training infraction (drinking beer in a tavern).
In 1969, the top-ranked Buckeyes beat a bad UW team 41-14 at Husky Stadium on its way to a Rose Bowl victory and national championship.
The teams didn’t play again for 17 seasons. In 1986, the UW stunned the Buckeyes, taking advantage of every miscue to drub the Big Ten powerhouse 40-7 on national TV at Husky Stadium. This marked the first time both teams were nationally ranked, with the UW 17th and Ohio State 10th that day.
In 1993, shortly after Don James resigned and the Huskies began serving two years of NCAA penalties, Ohio State took a 21-12 victory at home.
A year later, the Huskies put together their last victory over the Buckeyes, winning 25-16 in Seattle. Napoleon Kaufman rushed 32 times for 211 yards, picking up 278 yards of total offense.
The teams played for the third season in a row, in 1995, and Ohio State came away with 30-20 victory in Columbus.
As the Huskies sunk into a near decade-long program malaise, they lost to Ohio State 28-9 in 2003 and suffered that 19-point defeat four years later.
This Rose Bowl marks the 15th appearance for both Washington and Ohio State. The Huskies are 7-6-1, the Buckeyes 7-7.