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Urban Meyer and Ohio State want to lift a different trophy at the end of next season.

Ohio State football: Figuring out Buckeyes’ path to next College Football Playoff; Sam Hubbard declares for NFL draft

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How Ohio State can get to next College Football Playoff

Happy New Year, Buckeyes fans. Later Monday the two College Football Playoff semifinals will take place as another reminder that Ohio State was left out of the field of four. The Big Ten title and Cotton Bowl victory over USC were a great way to end 2017, but it was still bittersweet for the program to miss the playoff.

So how can the Buckeyes make sure they’re playing on this day next year? Land of 10’s Ryan Ginn laid out three keys for Urban Meyer’s team to make it to the College Football Playoff in 2018.

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Ohio State’s big win over USC proved again the committee got it wrong

The Big Ten enters New Year’s Day without a loss in its seven bowl games so far. The conference will go 8-0 if Michigan can beat South Carolina in the Outback Bowl. Still, the Big Ten is not represented in the College Football Playoff. And nearly a month after the decision was made, it feels even more like the wrong one.

Ohio State’s impressive showing against USC in the Cotton Bowl was the latest example of how the committee screwed up, Land of 10’s Austin Ward wrote.

Sam Hubbard is going pro

Sam Hubbard declared for the NFL draft on Saturday, a day after helping the Buckeyes win the Cotton Bowl over USC. The defensive end is passing up his senior season for a chance to be a high draft pick in 2018.

“Growing up in Ohio, wearing the Scarlet and Grey for the Buckeyes was always a life-long dream of mine,” Hubbard wrote on Twitter. “…These past four years at Ohio State have been everything I ever dreamed about and so much more.”

Land of 10’s Austin Ward broke down what Hubbard’s choice means for the Buckeyes.

The depth of elite guys buying into that coaching looks like it will be a bit thinner with Hubbard heading to the next level along with seniors Tyquan Lewis and Jalyn Holmes on the edge. That doesn’t necessarily mean, though, that the Rushmen legacy is in much peril heading into next season.

Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward also declared for the draft on Friday and opted not to play in the Cotton Bowl.

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