Buckeyes Elated After Getting Playoff Berth

The Ohio State football team claimed the No. 4 spot and a berth in the inaugural College Football Playoff, and head coach Urban Meyer and a pair of seniors spoke about their feelings leading up to the announcement and their thoughts moving forward.

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Members of the Ohio State football team and its coaching staff waited along with the rest of the nation to find out which schools would qualify for the inaugural College Football Playoff.

And much like their fans, the Buckeyes were elated to make the cut. Senior cornerback Doran Grant was watching at home as the tension began to build at 12:30 p.m. in the minutes leading up the unveiling.

“I’m pretty sure everybody was doing the same thing I was doing, just waiting to see what’s going to happen,” Doran Grant said.

First, the No. 1 spot was revealed to be Alabama. Not a shocker. Neither were the second and third teams announced – Oregon and Florida State. That left the fourth and final position to be picked between Ohio State, TCU and Baylor.

Then came the moment. The blank space next to the fourth spot was revealed: Ohio State. Doran Grant raised his hands in the air as fellow seniors Devin Smith and Chase Farris raced to join Grant.

“Devin came running downstairs, and Chase came stumbling down the stairs. It was a lot of ruckus,” Grant said with a chuckle.

Senior linebacker Curtis Grant was with Doran Grant, Smith and Farris. Also there was Curtis Grant's family. While it might have been a stressful situation, Curtis Grant was confident leading up to the unveiling.

"I knew we were going to get in," Curtis Grant said. "I don't know how, I just knew we were going to get in. It was just like, 'What number are we going to be?' That was my main focus, what number we were going to be. It didn't really matter because whoever we were going to play was going to be a good team either way and we were going to have to prepare."

When he saw Ohio State made the cut and could face Alabama, Curtis Grant had just one thought.

"The first thing in my mind was, ‘Get to work,’ " he said.

While it is not unsurprising that the players did not know until the actual announcement, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said he did not know either – though he expected the possibly get a hint one way or another beforehand. Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith and strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti was at Meyer’s house for selection show.

Meyer expected Smith to know OSU’s fate.

“We sat there, and I kept looking at him and said, ‘What have you got?,’ ” Meyer said. “He said, ‘The commissioner doesn't even know.’ I said, ‘Come on.’ I thought he was going to wink at me or give a thumbs up like he's done in the past, but he said, ‘We don’t know anything.’ ”

Of course, Meyer was pleased his team made the cut. Now Ohio State’s thoughts turn to top-ranked Alabama, the team the Buckeyes will face in a national semifinal in the Sugar Bowl. It did not take long for Doran Grant to find excitement in the opportunity to face the Crimson Tide.

“It’s a big game and a big challenge with two coaches going head to head and two great teams going head to head with great athletes on each side of the ball,” he said. “I think it’s a good deal for us. We can come up and make a statement for the Big Ten with a big win over here.”


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