A most unusual season for Ohio State will end in a similarly newfangled bowl trip.
The Buckeyes and head coach Urban Meyer will take on Clemson in the Orange Bowl, bowl reps announced Sunday night. And while it's not sunny Southern California, which the Buckeyes would have preferred before Saturday's Big Ten title game loss, the Buckeyes will be on the way to the Sunshine State.
The game will be held at 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 3 in Sun Life Stadium in Miami.
The bowl locale is an unusual one for Ohio State, which has made just one trip to the contest in its history. The Buckeyes closed the 1976 campaign by tripping to South Beach to down Colorado by a 27-10 score.
Two years later, the Buckeyes staged their only previous contest vs. Clemson, and it certainly was a memorable one. The team lost a 17-15 decision to Clemson in the 1978 Gator Bowl, a game that ended with Woody Hayes' fateful punch of Clemson's Charlie Bauman that ended the legendary head coach's 28-year career.
In another subplot, Clemson is quarterbacked by Tajh Boyd, a highly rated high school prospect in the class of 2009 who seriously considered the Buckeyes before choosing Clemson, leading to the shotgun recruitment of Texas QB Kenny Guiton.
Ohio State enters at 12-1 with the highest-scoring offense in program history, while Clemson has also provided a ton of offensive fireworks this year. The Tigers, who are 10-2 including a 7-1 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference, lost only to highly rated Florida State and South Carolina teams, and Boyd has thrown 29 touchdowns while piloting an offense that averaged 40.2 points per game.
The Buckeyes are the seventh-ranked team in the Associated Press poll, while head coach Dabo Swinney's Tigers enter ranked 12th.
This will be the last season of the BCS, as Ohio State will now have played in each of the five bowls that are part of the rotation.
Stay tuned for Meyer's thoughts on the matchup.