SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah football team received its formal invitation to the Rose Bowl Sunday, setting up a New Year's Day meeting with the Ohio State Buckeyes.
There was no drama for the Utes on bowl selection day with the team having booked their trip to Pasadena following Friday night's rout over Oregon in the Pac-12 Conference championship game.
"To get the call today from Laura Farber, President of the Tournament of Roses, and formally receive the invitation on behalf of the University of Utah and this incredible football program was an exciting moment," said Utah athletic director Mark Harlan. "It was an honor to accept, and I cannot thank Coach Whittingham, his staff and the student-athletes enough for their incredible fortitude all season to make this a reality. We are very grateful, and cannot wait for Jan. 1."
While the Rose Bowl invitation was no surprise, the Utes did jump to No. 10 in the rankings Sunday. Their bowl opponent, Ohio State, moved up one spot to No. 6.
Utah and Ohio State have only met once before, with the Buckeyes trouncing the Utes 64-6 in Columbus. Oddsmakers have made Ohio State the early favorites (-7.5) in the Jan. 1 meeting.