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December 3, 2017

Urban Meyer

Columbus, Ohio

COACH MEYER: I'll answer any questions for you.

Q. Did you expect to get in, and what was it like when you saw that it wasn't you?
COACH MEYER: My daughter said you know it seems like every year we're sitting around my room right there watching TV and waiting for something to show up. It's been that way for a while. And I hope we continue to be there for many, many years.

Did I expect? I hoped. To expect, I didn't study it that much. The whole conversation with our players have been ever since that loss was laser focus on our opponent, laser focus on your job responsibility. And they've done that.

And it would be an injustice for me -- ESPN asked me what can they do better? I don't know. I don't know. Did I expect, no? Did I hope? Yes.

Q. What are your thoughts about playing USC?
COACH MEYER: I know their coach a little bit. I have not studied them on video tape. Obviously Ohio State and USC are two traditioners' programs. I understand we're going to be in and Dallas, which is a great city and play in that great stadium. Haven't had much time to think about it other than I think it's been about four minutes now.

But we're excited and our players -- I just really want to do right by our guys because our guys have been fantastic, man. There's been very little issues. Every day we had some tough injuries that we fought through. And I want to do right by these players.

Q. The value of this game, because as you said last night, that the playoff seems to be everything. But the value of winning, beating a traditional, almost, Big Ten/Pac-12 kind of rival.
COACH MEYER: Yeah, I look at it a little differently. I've not fall in that trap about nothing else matters. I'm anxious to see that thing go up there on 2000 and -- what year is it? 2017, right there. Imagine it will be up next week. Big Ten champions.

And Billy Price is officially our ring committee chairman. And it's going to be a big one, he told me, which is fine. Make it as big as you want. So I put a lot of stock into what these guys have done.

Q. Have you had much chance to talk to your players since the (inaudible) --
COACH MEYER: After the game I did. And that was more about enjoying the moment. I sent out a text to them. They deserve a day off.

I see one of my guys right there in the back, what's up, Worl? You know what's cool about our players is they know we love them and they love us. This is a really good team, a really close team.

I've had teams where you kind of go out on the practice field and you're like, I'm not -- just don't feel good about that guy, that guy, that guy. I don't have that.

And so I'm anxious -- we're going to have some fun in this bowl practice. We're going to have to do our very best to win it. And our players know we're not going to change the way we do our business; we're going to try to go win a game.

Q. Those guys who might be disappointed about what happened, what's your message to them to keep their spirits up as they get ready to play this game?
COACH MEYER: You have to understand they're not kind of disappointed. They're probably devastated. But that's one thing families do, how do you handle devastation, get around those you love and let's go back to work.

There's other ways to handle it. And that's not appropriate. And we all know what those other ways are, handling devastation or disappointment.

The way that I've learned and the way we've tried to teach our team because it's a family approach here is how to handle disappointment. Get together, man, let's go. Let's go. We'll be fine.

It's going to sting for a while and then get around those you love and care about and move on.

Q. You've had a national championship team here. You've gone to the playoff multiple times. I know that it stings in the moment right now, but when you look at the whole body of this team and where they were last night and now that you can actually reflect on it, did you think this was a national caliber-type of championship team?

Q. -- playing as well as some of the teams that actually made to it that stage?
COACH MEYER: Sure. We finished top ten -- I saw the stat, top ten offense, top ten defense. We had to replace six guys that left early for the NFL draft. We have a very powerful recruiting class coming in. It's a very healthy program right now.

But what really matters to me is guys like Worl, guys like -- I can't ask Chris Worley for something else. I can't say, hey, I need you to do this. He's done -- and that goes to where I can start listing the names. At this point in my life, my career that's all I want; I want to coach guys I like, I want to be around guys I like.

Do I think this is a national caliber team? Absolutely. We had a bad loss. That happened. So move on. We're not going to look backwards. I promise you this, we're going to look forward.

Q. Last year at this time you were in but you didn't experience what you got to experience last night. This year you've had the conference championship. Could you speak of the value of that, even though you guys are devastated, how much value do you put in what you guys experienced to win the conference title?
COACH MEYER: I thought you were going to ask me about the birth of my grandson when you say experience. Remember, that's when he was born on selection Sunday a year ago.

Okay. I lost track of the question. What was it again?

Q. The value of a conference title, experiencing what you guys experienced last night?
COACH MEYER: That's it right there. And you can never take that out of there. And that's -- I'm going to make sure -- some of you maybe don't get an opportunity, but around this facility I'm kind of bizarre about this. I want to make sure guys like Worley when he brings back little Worley some day, and I want him to see pictures on the wall of what those guys have done.

And so there will be a wall for this team. This is going to be -- this is a special group. And Big Ten Championship, that will never change. Look at 1916, it was the first one. And that's always going to be -- how do you measure a team's success? Sure, national titles.

So often that's out of our control, which you saw. And get to Indianapolis and find a way to win the Big Ten Championship.

Q. Alabama lost its last regular season game to Auburn, was basically dominated by Auburn when you watch it. You guys had the bad loss but you rebounded with four straight wins. And like you said, you have quality wins over three teams in their top final 15 or 16. Do you get the sense now that the committee had its mind made up going into yesterday that Alabama was better than you guys no matter what?
COACH MEYER: I don't know. I didn't study it at all. I'm not going to. I mean, I've said this to ESPN, just the way I was raised, I've always admired people that have a job to do and go do it. Now do it right and do it the best you can.

That's why journalists, when you've got a job to do go do it. Do it right. Don't create issues, because I'll disrespect the hell out of you if you do that. However if you have a job go do it.

The same with our players. They had a job to do last night, to go against a top-four team in the America. Excellent defense and one of the top Heisman candidates at tailback. Our guys had a job to go do it.

USC had a job to do, they did it. They won their conference championship. And the college football playoff committee had a job to do. It wasn't easy. Can you imagine that room? You have to respect and move on. For me to sit here start worrying about it. I'm moving forward.

Q. But this is two straight years that the Big Ten champion has not gotten into the playoff. Last year it was Penn State. This year -- that's just the way it flows or goes?
COACH MEYER: I don't -- get ready for the bowl game.

Q. J.T. Barrett, what did he prove to you last night more than anything else, maybe over the week?
COACH MEYER: Yeah, he's not had to prove anything anymore. I mean, that's been -- when a trainer looks at me says it's 50/50. Automatically my mind goes 80/20. As it gets closer to the week and, boy, it's looking good -- 60 or 70 percent. Okay, that's 100.

He's a rare guy, rare breed. And so he doesn't need to prove anything else. We need to go find a way to win this bowl game.

Q. You just seem to be in -- just have a very interesting, I don't know, vibe about you of the way you're handling the situation. It just seems like the overriding thing is like pride in your team and what happens happens. Why is that the overriding emotion for you at the moment, if that's what it is?
COACH MEYER: Partially because I'm exhausted. We got in at 4:30 in the morning. Second is that it's a genuine, sincere love for my guys that they've done everything right. And I want to make sure they continue to do everything right.

And they have been nothing but, I think, you said pride in my players. I love them, and we're going to get this one, right, Worl? We're going to find a way to go get the next win against a great team.

Q. I understand the idea of you guys moving forward and looking forward, but when we talked to you in the past and talked to other coaches we know that the losses stick with you. Sometimes it's hard to get over them. Just knowing what this team is and how good this team is, not right in the moment but in your career, is that Iowa one going to be one that you're going to shake your head about?
COACH MEYER: Probably. I hope not. The younger Meyer guy, yes to the point where I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, couldn't do this, couldn't do that. But gotta move on.

Q. You talked about your team, you expect they're probably feeling devastation and disappointment. That's normal. Are you not feeling any of that right now? Like you said, you seem to be at a pretty good state of mind about it. Is there no element of those things that apply to you right now?
COACH MEYER: No, there is that. And I want to have a team meeting. I wish we could practice today. I'm sure they would rather not. I just want to get around those kind of guys. And I have to hit the road recruiting. Sure, I just handle it a little differently than I did in the old days. And I sent out a really nice text to our players recently and gotta move on.

Q. If I had to make you pick something, how would you describe how you feel right now and what you saw when that bracket went up, what you thought?
COACH MEYER: I sunk in my chair at home. Because I really thought we were in. I kind of looked at it and stared at it for a minute. And then my thoughts were to them, because I've been very fortunate to be around some really cool things.

And there's a group of players now that really deserve that opportunity. And that's what I thought about.

Q. The trend of players sitting out bowl games, you didn't have to deal with that last year being in the playoffs. Do you expect that to be an issue? How would you handle it?
COACH MEYER: I don't know. I remember last year was the first time -- and I really didn't study it because I was, like, what's going on here?

Those are all situations that you handle on a case-by-case. I would hope not, but once again this is all happening real fast. And I think our players are very close and they want to go out to find a way to win this game.

Q. Do you see down the road an eight-team playoff?
COACH MEYER: I don't think so. I just don't know how you do it with these guys. If you say, let's go another two weeks, another two weeks, now you're into -- I don't know. I don't know. Thanks.

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