For Ohio State, this bowl season will likely bring a unfamiliar foe and a familiar locale.
The Buckeyes are likely to lose out on a Big Ten Championship, thanks to a BCS tiebreaker that should reward Wisconsin. But the Buckeyes have a lofty ranking, solid units on offense and defense, and a fan base that will always make Ohio State an attractive BCS at-large selection.
That should help the Buckeyes get to Bourbon Street this year. The Sugar Bowl seems likely to match an SEC team that is not Auburn — likely Arkansas, though South Carolina could go to New Orleans with an SEC Championship Game upset — against a Big Ten team that isn't the Big Ten champion. With Wisconsin likely to be that champion, it would leave Ohio State eligible to accept an at-large BCS bowl bid and go to the Sugar Bowl.
That may not be a great thing for Ohio State, given history both recent (a 38-24 loss to LSU in the 2008 BCS National Championship Game, played at the Louisiana Superdown) and all-time (the Buckeyes are 1-2 in Sugar Bowls, and have never beaten an SEC team in a bowl game), but it's a better fate than the Capital One Bowl.
And the BCS money is a nice perk.