If his team was in Penn State’s position, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said his players would be feeling just as confused and as frustrated as the Nittany Lions must be right now.
“It would be terrible. You wake up every morning to go win a conference championship,” Meyer said Monday morning while on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike.”
But Ohio State did get in the College Football Playoff instead of Penn State, with the No. 3 Buckeyes set to meet No. 2 Clemson. Ohio State lost to Penn State and didn’t win the division or the conference, but the Buckeyes did have top-10 wins against Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Michigan. Penn State just missed the CFP at No. 5.
That September road trip to Oklahoma was especially key to Ohio State getting in, Meyer said.
“When I saw Oklahoma pop up on our schedule … I don’t get involved too often with our scheduling,” Meyer said. “I saw a young team with all the new players we were going to have after all those guys got drafted last year. Taking them to Oklahoma, I thought, ‘Now why would we do that?’ Now I understand. If we didn’t play Oklahoma, we would not be in.”
Meyer said there are some teams with legitimate gripes about being left out of the four-team field.
“So I think there are several teams out there,” Meyer said. “How do you tell ‘That Team Up North,’ our rivals — that’s as good a football team as I’ve ever coached against. Penn State’s the most improved team that I’ve seen start-to-finish in a season. There are some very qualified teams out there.”
— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) December 5, 2016