Can the loser of Ohio State-Michigan game make the College Football Playoff?
Ann Arbor, Michigan - Will Saturday mark the end of the season for Ohio State or Michigan football?
The winner of the Ohio State-Michigan in Saturday's game will likely secure a College Football Playoff (CFP) spot unless they stumble in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Last year Ohio State bounced back to the Playoff despite losing to Michigan in the regular season finale.
This year's competition is fierce, however, and the loser faces tougher odds.
The key for both teams is hoping that multiple two-loss teams win their conference title games.
It's worth noting that no two-loss team has ever made the College Football Playoff.
A one-loss conference champion would probably get the nod over the loser of "The Game."
Ohio State has a better chance at the playoffs than Michigan with a loss
The loser of "The Game" on Saturday should be wary of potential challenges from conference championship-losing teams like Georgia or Washington, who could both present strong cases.
To make matters more complicated, this scenario would require a fair amount of chaos in the final two weeks, with several top-eight teams in the CFP rankings dropping games during Rivalry Week and conference championship weekend.
This chaos could open a door for either Michigan or Ohio State to sneak into the CFP despite losing in Rivalry Week.
Without a doubt, Ohio State will have an edge due to its challenging non-conference schedule, potentially helping them stand out among other one-loss teams compared to Michigan.
The Wolverines will have a tougher path due to their weak strength of schedule and will most likely be knocked out of playoff contention if they lose to the Buckeyes.
"The Game" featuring Ohio State and Michigan is set for Saturday at noon airing on FOX.
Cover photo: Mike Mulholland / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP