Buckeyes Grab the Roses; Huskies Hold the Thorns
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No matter what bells and whistles college football attaches to its schedule, the Granddaddy of Them All still looms head and shoulders above all the rest.
After all, the Rose Bowl is a century-old tradition so embedded in a sport so steeped in them that -- CFP or no -- it'll always have a mystique all its own.
As the two conferences that missed the College Football Playoffs, the Big Ten and Pac-12 champions would like to think so.
In fact, back when the CFP was being formulated, both the Rose Bowl and Pac-12 had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into it.
- The Rose Bowl only agreed after assurances that the game would always be played on New Year's Day, while
- The Pac-12 seems to have found a way to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
For the first time since the CFP arose from the bank vault, the game featured its traditional conference foes, and what was a successful swan song for Urban Meyer almost became a comeback classic for the Washington Huskies.
Until the Pac-12 champs woke up, the stars of this game was unquestionably the Buckeye offensive line.
Time and again, it gave QB Dwayne Haskins all the time he needed to pick Washington's secondary apart to the tune of a 25-37 performance that racked up 251 yards and three touchies.
Dwayne Haskins joined an elite club today 👏 pic.twitter.com/WLO7eEqOsg— ESPN (@espn) January 2, 2019
The hell of it for the Huskies is Jake Browning actually had a better bottom line.
The four-year starter compiled 315 yards on a 35-54 day, but the lingering memory will be the plethora of misfires and dropped passes that coulda kept this one closer going into the fourth quarter.
It was the catalyst for Washington waking up in their 20-point fourth quarter that wound up forcing Ohio State to recover an onside kick to preserve their 28-23 victory:
- Ohio State took its foot off the gas after amassing a 25-point lead, or
- Washington finally realized this was the Rose Bowl and started playing like they belonged in it
... is yet another matter of perspective in a season dominated by that factor.
The bottom line is the Buckeyes got their happy ending for the coach and the Huskies turned a lost cause into a bankable occasion:
BACK DOOR COVER BABY!!!!! #Huskies trailed 28-3, battled back to lose 28-23 but cover the spread! 🙌🙌🙌 HUGE win for contrarian bettors and the books. Only 23% took #Huskies plus the points (closed +5.5) 💰💰💰https://t.co/RbqgnKcBQE pic.twitter.com/5QbF9rPHZY— Action Appelbaum (@Josh_Insights) January 2, 2019
In one form or another the Granddaddy made everyone happy.