COLUMBUS — Shortened schedule and all, Ohio State is headed back to the College Football Playoff and a familiar foe will be waiting.
Despite playing just six games because of a COVID-19 issues, the third-ranked Buckeyes were picked as the No. 3 seed by the CFP and will face No. 2 Clemson in the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day.
The pairing Sunday by the CFP selection committee sets up a rematch of last year's semifinal in the Fiesta Bowl. Clemson's Trevor Lawrence bested Justin Fields and the Buckeyes in that one, 29-23. Both quarterbacks, potential Heisman Trophy candidates, will be back for the grudge match in New Orleans.
The playoff committee picked Ohio State (6-0) despite the Big Ten's pandemic-delayed season and the Buckeyes having three scheduled games wiped out because of outbreaks.
Committee chair Gary Barta said the Buckeyes deserved to be No. 3 because they were undefeated, beat two ranked teams (Indiana and Northwestern) and won the Big Ten championship game over the Wildcats. The Big Ten changed a six-game minimum rule so the Buckeyes could play for the conference title.