The loser of The Game between Michigan and Ohio State probably gets in now
Without question, the biggest winner of Tennessee going down has to be the loser of The Game on Saturday between No. 3 Michigan and No. 2 Ohio State. While the winner of The Game will get to Indianapolis and almost certainly beat either Iowa or Purdue for the Big Ten Championship, the loser will be 11-1 (8-1) with the best loss on the season. That team may get in as an at-large now.
See, The Game’s loser has essentially replaced Tennessee as the potential one-loss, at-large team when it comes to getting in. Tennessee had the best loss on the season at Georgia before getting blown out at South Carolina. Either a Michigan or Ohio State defeat would be in the favor of the Buckeyes or Wolverines at 11-1 (8-1) as a potential candidate to get in and make the playoff now.
It is difficult to discern between the two, but the Tennessee loss helps Michigan more because of the Wolverines’ weak non-conference schedule. Keep in mind that Ohio State has a home win over Notre Dame on the season. The Wolverines’ best non-conference win is over FBS independent UConn, who has achieved bowl eligibility in Jim Mora’s first season at the helm of the Huskies.
Right now, the Big Ten has the better shot of getting two teams in over the SEC, all things equal.