Michigan State Can Still Make College Football Playoff by Beating Penn State and Ohio State

Michigan State suffered its first loss of the season to Purdue. Can the Spartans recover and find a path to the CFP?
Michigan State suffered its first loss of the season to Purdue. Can the Spartans recover and find a path to the CFP? / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Purdue Boilermakers handed the Michigan State Spartans a crushing defeat in Week 10. It was the Spartans first loss of the season and the program’s chances of making the College Football Playoffs took a huge hit.

Purdue coach Jeff Brohm has a history of playing spoiler to top-five opponents and already beat No. 2 Iowa. Brohm exposed the Spartans’ suspect pass defense with Aidan O’Connell passing for 536 yards against the No. 3 team in the nation. 

One of the big hurdles facing Michigan State down the stretch were their final two games against Ohio State and Penn State. While many said that those games would keep MSU out of the CFP, the reality now is that those games are the Spartan’s path to the playoffs. 

If Michigan State has any hope left at making the CFP, the Spartans first have to get past Maryland this week and then go on to win out against Ohio State and PSU. 

So, what are their chances at winning out and punching their ticket? Slim I would say. The Spartans failed to do the one thing they had to do to give themselves a chance at the CFP. Not lose to Purdue.

Beating Purdue, and presumably, Maryland, would have given the Spartans some wiggle room to lose against the Nittany Lions or Buckeyes. A loss to one of these teams, especially Ohio State, might not have knocked them out of the top-4 as the loss to Purdue did. 

I think that Michigan State bounces back to take care of Maryland, and probably gets past a struggling PSU team.

That just leaves Ohio State. The Buckeyes are always a tough opponent and find themselves in a similar position as the Spartans. They have one loss on the year and could claw their way back into the top four with wins over Purdue, Michigan State and Michigan.

This makes Ohio State even that much more dangerous. They are a better team in my estimation and have a chance to win out than either Michigan State. 

Let’s not forget that the loss leaves the door open for Michigan to sneak in to the CFP as well. It’s clear that the voting committee isn’t sold on Cincinnati and would vote in Michigan if they manage to beat Penn State and an Ohio State team potentially in the top four.

If Michigan State collapses and loses two of their next three games, which is very possible, Michigan could end up in the conference championship with a win over Ohio State. 

There are scenarios where no Big Ten teams make it to the playoffs, but that would require a lot to go wrong over the last few weeks of the season. 

Exclusive offer. Bet $1, Win $100 if either team scores. PROMO CODE: BETSIDED. dark