ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso have been good-luck charms for Ohio State, deja vu in the desert and more

Colin Gay

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Today is Tuesday, Dec. 27, and this is your Ohio State Wake-Up Call. 

 Both teams present and accounted for

With only four days until the Fiesta Bowl against No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Ohio State arrived in Glendale, Ariz., in style.

Even with all the fanfare attached to a College Football Playoff game, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer knows where the focus should be for his team.

“We’re here for a reason,” Meyer said. “We’re here to enjoy the sunshine, the desert, but most importantly, we’re here to put on a good performance against a great football team in Clemson.”

Some players may be feeling a bit of deja vu. The Buckeyes played in the Fiesta Bowl last year too, where No. 7 Ohio State beat No. 8 Notre Dame, 44-28. With the familiar surroundings, there is a heightened atmosphere for players, such as veteran center Pat Elflein, who has been here before.

“It’s always a little different feel because you are playing for it all, but we approach every game the same,” Elflein said. “We prepared very hard for last year’s game and it was a good product. With the younger team this year, we are relying on the leadership, they guys who have been in the playoff before, to teach those guys how to prepare and get ready mentally for a big game like this one coming up.”

A GameDay advantage

With Clemson-Ohio State expected to be the more competitive of the two playoff games, ESPN’s College GameDay had to get in on the act. The pregame crew will be at University of Phoenix Stadium Saturday morning prior to the Fiesta Bowl.

The GameDay crew has loved covering Ohio State games, and the feeling is mutual. In 36 GameDay appearances, Ohio State has won 25 of those contests. The Buckeyes’ first loss with GameDay crew in attendance was Nov. 22, 2003 against Michigan after 10 straight wins with the GameDay crew in attendance.

Since 2012, when Urban Meyer became the head coach at Ohio State, the Buckeyes have had eight appearances on the show, including three in 2016 alone. The atmosphere has helped the team as of late, winning all three times this year and six of eight games in the Meyer era.

No matter which mascot head Lee Corso picks, whether it’s a Tiger head or a Brutus Buckeye head, Ohio State should feel confident with Kirk Herbstreit and the rest of the GameDay crew in attendance.

Buckeyes start Big Ten play on New Year’s Day

After a solid nonconference performance, Ohio State (10-3) will begin conference play against Illinois (10-3) on New Year’s Day. The start time will be at 7 p.m. ET and the game will be televised on BTN.

The Fighting Illini will already have one conference game under their belt by the time the game tips off on Jan. 1. Illinois will face off today against Maryland (12-1). Ohio State, on the other hand, has been taking a bit of a breather. The Buckeyes have not played a game since the 79-77 win over UNC Asheville on Dec. 22.

Illinois and Ohio State have had similar performances early on this season. Both teams have three losses, with two coming against ranked opponents and the other coming in OT against what seemed to be a beatable team.

 Another stat to hold over Michigan

As the Ohio State Buckeyes prepare for the College Football Playoff, Michigan is preparing for its own bowl game. The No. 6 Wolverines will be taking on No. 11 Florida State in the Discover Orange Bowl on Friday in a non-playoff game.

Even though Michigan may be trying to put the Ohio State loss behind them, Buckeye fans are still trying to find ways to give their team an advantage in the beloved rivalry.

This Twitter account later corrected that stat, saying that this will be Michigan’s seventh 11-win season since 1905.

No matter what the stat should be, the Buckeyes have yet another number to throw into the faces of coach Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverine faithful.

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