BCS shakeup: Ohio State shocked by Michigan State, settles for Orange Bowl

UC, Louisville, Ohio U. going bowling

INDIANAPOLIS  -- Ohio State had to settle for the Orange Bowl after Michigan State knocked the Buckeyes out of the national championship game with a 34-24 victory in the Big Ten title game Saturday night.

The Buckeyes (12-1) will play Clemson (10-2) Jan. 3 in Miami. The Buckeyes dropped from second to seventh in the final BCS standings announced Sunday night.

Auburn, which beat Missouri in the SEC championship game, jumped over the Buckeyes into the national title game against No. 1 Florida State on Jan. 6 in Pasadena.

The other BCS bowl pairings look like this:

> Rose Bowl: Michigan State vs. Stanford, Jan. 1, Pasadena, Calif.
> Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Oklahoma, Jan. 2, New Orleans.
> Fiesta Bowl: Baylor vs. Central Florida, Jan 1, Glendale, Ariz.

Cincinnati, Louisville and Ohio U. are also going bowling.

The Bearcats (9-3) return to the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, N.C., against North Carolina (6-6) on Dec. 28. UC beat Duke there last year.

RELATED: Belk Bowl details

Louisville (11-1) will play Miami (9-3) in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 28.

Ohio U. (7-5) meets East Carolina (9-3) in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Dec. 23. OU got in because the American Athletic Conference didn't have enough teams with six wins to fill its O'Brady's Bowl tie-in.

RELATED: See all bowl pairings

The Buckeyes were licking their wounds after Michigan State broke OSU's 24-game winning streak since Urban Meyer took over as coach.

"You know it's going to haunt all of us, I imagine, for a little while," Meyer said. "But that's part of the game."

After Michigan State (12-1) raced out to a 17-0 lead, the Buckeyes answered with 24 straight points to go ahead. But the Spartans defense – No. 1 in the country -  shut the door on Ohio State, and quarterback Connor Cook and running back Jeremy Langford and got the offense going again.

Michigan State, which scored the first 17 points, also scored the last 17.

Michigan State’s defense forced Ohio State to pass and Braxton Miller missed more than he connected. He was just 8 of 21 for 101 yards with one touchdown.

"Things happen in games, don't really go your way," Miller said. "You've got to come back and fix the mistakes."

Miller was able to run for 142 yards and two touchdowns and Carlos Hyde picked up 118 yards. But the Spartans stopped Miller on a crucial fourth-and-2 that turned out to be the biggest defensive play of the game.

The Buckeyes took their first lead, 24-17, when Miller scored on a 6-yard TD run with 5:36 left in the third quarter.

After getting a field goal, the Spartans regained the lead on Cook's 9-yard touchdown pass to Josiah Price with 11:41 left in the game. Then they sealed the victory with Langford's late 26-yard TD run.

It was a monumental win for Michigan State under coach Mark Dantonio, who left the University of Cincinnati in 2006 to take over the Spartans.

The Spartans haven’t won an outright Big Ten championship or played in Pasadena since 1988. Michigan State won 12 games in a season for the first time and won their ninth straight for the first time since starting 9-0 in 1966.

Dantonio said he thought Michigan State had a claim on the BCS game. The only blemish on their record is a 17-13 loss at Notre Dame on Sept. 21.

"I can tell you this, we beat the No. 2 team.," Dantonio said. "We're 12-1 so why not us? Why not us? I'll vote us No. 2."

However, the voters and the computers favored 12-1 Auburn. The Tigers knocked off No. 1 Alabama, which won the last two national championships, two weeks ago.

Cook finished 24 of 40 for a season-high 304 yards with three TDs and one interception and was selected the game's MVP.

Langford ran 24 times for 128 yards, becoming the first player to rush for more than 100 yards against the Buckeyes this season.

"I think we heard people talk bad about us all year,” Cook said.  “This wasn't the first week where we heard people say negative things about us as an offense or as a football team.  I think we were underdogs in the majority of the games we played this year. It really didn't affect us."
 

 

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