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Per San Antonio Express-News OHIO ST in ALAMO BOWL
<B><BIG><BIG><BIG>NEW: Ohio State selected to play in Alamo Bowl<BIG><BIG><BIG>
</BIG></BIG></BIG></BIG></BIG></BIG></B>Web Posted: 11/23/2004 02:06 PM CST
TIM GRIFFIN San Antonio Express-News
Ohio State has been selected as the Big Ten’s representative for the Dec. 29 MasterCard Alamo Bowl, bowl sources said on Tuesday.
An official announcement will be made at a 3 p.m. press conference at the Alamodome.
It will be the first appearance in the game in history for the Buckeyes, one of the most tradition-rich programs in college football. Ohio State currently ranks sixth on the list of all-time winningest teams with 763 victories in the 115-season history of the program. The Buckeyes have claimed four national championships – most recently in 2002.
The Buckeyes (7-4) lost their first three Big Ten conference games this season after starting 3-0, but rebounded to win four of their last five under sophomore quarterback Troy Smith.
Despite losing to Purdue two weeks ago, the Buckeyes were chosen because of momentum generated after a 37-21 season-ending upset victory over No. 13 Michigan in Columbus.
The program also has been dogged in recent weeks by charges by former running back Maurice Clarett, who alleged improper benefits and academic fraud in an ESPN The Magazine story released earlier this month. The NCAA currently is investigating those claims.
The Buckeyes feature one of the nation’s top special teams. Kicker Mike Nugent is one of three finalists for the Groza Award and freshman punt returner Ted Ginn Jr. leads the NCAA in punt returns with a 26.9-yard average per return and four touchdowns.
Ohio State was attractive for Alamo Bowl selectors because they have never had access to them in previous seasons. The Buckeyes have played in Bowl Championship Series or New Year’s Day bowl games every season under Coach Jim Tressel and in nine of the last 10 years.
Since the Big Ten’s arrangement with the Alamo Bowl began in 1995, Big Ten teams are 6-3 against Big 12 opponents. Iowa and Purdue both have appeared twice in San Antonio, while Penn State, Northwestern, Michigan, Wisconsin and Michigan State all have played here once.
The Buckeyes’ opponent likely will not be determined until Dec. 5 because of the Big 12’s championship game. The likely opponent will be either Texas Tech or Oklahoma State, although Texas and Texas A&M still have slim shots to represent the Big 12.