2. Do NOT lose at Michigan State
Again, Ohio State could lose at Penn State and probably be okay by running the table the rest of the way, and it’ll be just fine if it beats TCU and rolls to 11-1 going unbeaten against the Big Ten.
It can even be 11-0, lose to Michigan, and still be alive for the CFP. The Wolverines have to go to Michigan State and Northwestern, and play Penn State and Wisconsin – there should be two losses somewhere in there.
However, this is one dangerous Michigan State team, with the talent and toughness to be even better than the 2015 version that won the Big Ten title and got to the College Football Playoff.
Lose to this team, and 11-1 Ohio State isn’t guaranteed of anything.
The Spartans have to go to Penn State, but they get Michigan at home and they don’t have to deal with Wisconsin from the West. Best of all, the showdown with the Buckeyes is in East Lansing.
4-3 over the last seven games in the series – including the oops-we-forgot-to-keep-giving-the-ball-to-Carlos-Hyde loss in the 2013 Big Ten Championship – Ohio State really, really can’t drop what should be a slugfest.
But no matter how it happens, if the Buckeyes are 11-1 – or better – all will be fine with the world if they can …