December 20, 2014

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Ohio State: Buckeyes start the waiting game

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan and Ohio State have one thing in common: Both are waiting for news.
Lloyd Carr is expected to make his retirement official on Monday. He told players and coaches on Sunday and also confirmed the decision to The Associated Press, adding that he wouldn`t comment further until a Monday morning news conference at the school.
The Buckeyes, meanwhile, might have to wait a couple of weeks to know whether they`re headed to the Rose Bowl for sure.
“We`re going to Pasadena, unless it shakes out otherwise,” coach Jim Tressel said after beating Michigan 14-3 on Saturday.
This was expected to be Carr`s 13th and final season at Michigan when he changed his contract last winter and made sure all of his assistants were given unprecedented, two-year deals in the spring.
Tressel tried to deflect credit for his part in helping Ohio State match a school record with four straight wins over Michigan, and for being the first coach to go 6-1 over a seven-year stretch against the archrival.
Ohio State seemed to end its chances of playing in the BCS title game by losing Nov. 10 at home against Illinois, but the Buckeyes might still have a shot.
The win over Michigan and losses by Oregon and Oklahoma lifted Ohio State to No. 5 in The Associated Press poll, trailing just top-ranked LSU, Kansas, Missouri and West Virginia. If a few of those teams lose over the next two weeks, the Buckeyes could end up making a return trip to the BCS title game.
Ohio State linebacker James Laurinitus, however, does not appear willing to get his hopes up too high.
“We`re just going to enjoy this win and wherever the cards fall, they do,” he said. “We`re just going to relax and watch the season play out.”
Michigan (8-4, 6-2) is unranked for the first time since the Oct. 7 poll, and might play in a bowl game prior to New Year`s Day.
“It`s disappointing to go out like this, losing four in a row to Ohio State,” offensive guard Adam Kraus said.