The debate happens every year ... is it better to lose in the beginning of the season or end of the season if you're going to lose a game?
No matter the answer to that question, an awful lot of good football teams have taken at least one L so far, several of whom still have a legitimate chance to make the coveted four team College Football Playoff.
Ohio State suffered an early loss to Oregon, which drastically diminished their chances of making the CFP. But after five weeks and after many other teams have come back to the pack a little bit, the stats tell a different story.
As of this writing, ESPN's College Football Playoff Predictor says that if the Buckeyes win out the rest of the regular season AND win the Big Ten championship game, they have a remarkably high 98 percent chance to be selected to compete in the playoff (and a 19 percent chance to win it all).
If the Buckeyes win out and lose the Big Ten title game, they have a 40 percent chance of making the playoff (with an eight percent chance of winning the national title).
If Ohio State loses to Penn State, but still manages to win out the rest of the regular season AND manages to win the Big Ten title, they have a 72 percent chance to make the CFP. If they lose to the Nittany Lions and fail to qualify for the Big Ten title game, they still have a 21 percent chance to make the playoff.
If Ohio State loses to Michigan, but manages to win every other game on its schedule, including the Big Ten title, they have a 74 percent chance to make the CFP. If they lose to the Wolverines and fail to qualify for the Big Ten title game, the Buckeyes have just a 15 percent chance to make the postseason.
That's a pretty comprehensive look at the remaining scenarios and one thing stands out: an early season loss is absolutely not enough to knock the Buckeyes out of the race this year, as long as they continue to win the rest of their games. Nothing is guaranteed, but wins over Penn State, Michigan State, Michigan and potentially Iowa should be enough to catapult the Buckeyes back into the postseason picture.
Brett Hiltbrand and I shared all of our thoughts this afternoon on the national landscape and how Ohio State is getting better during the latest installment of Buckeye Breakdown.
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