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What Michigan upset of Ohio State means for CFP implications

Michigan is impressing at home against Ohio State. We break down the CFP implications of a potential upset.

Hassan Haskins #25 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates with teammates after his touchdown against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the second quarter at Michigan Stadium on November 27, 2021 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

The fifth-ranked Michigan Wolverines finally got the win they have craved like no other, beating the second-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes for the first time in a decade 42-27 at The Big House on Saturday. With the victory, they secured a spot in Big Ten championship game, and will move into the top four of the CFP rankings with one huge game remaining.

It’s the first win for Michigan over their ancient rival since 2011, and they will play in the Big Ten Championship Game for the first time. They’ll face either Wisconsin or Iowa based on who wins the Wisconsin-Minnesota game this afternoon.

If (and, again a BIG if here) the Wolverines hang on, they’ll just need any kind of victory over in Indianapolis to end up in the College Football Playoff for the first time. It would also be the first Big Ten Championship as a coach for Harbaugh, getting off his back perhaps the biggest monkey in all of college sports. He did beat his rival three times as a quarterback in the mid-80’s, and is now 1-5 as a coach against the Scarlet and Gray.

For the Buckeyes, no two-loss team has ever made the Playoff, and they’ll be denied the “13th data point” of the Big Ten Championship. Even if the rest of the world falls apart, it’s likely they’ll be playing in the Rose Bowl, but their hopes of bringing home a trophy of any kind would be over.