Buckeyes (again) foiled by rival Michigan
Well … that sucked.
Driving the news: The Buckeyes fell to Michigan on Saturday, 45-23, in a game that featured questionable punts, backbreaking penalties, late turnovers and a flurry of big plays from the visiting Wolverines.
Why it matters: After its first loss of the season, Ohio State might be out of College Football Playoff contention and again have to settle for a solid, albeit disappointing, Rose Bowl appearance.
The big picture: The era of OSU's total dominance over TTUN is clearly over.
- Michigan's second-straight win after two decades of inferiority ushers in a new era of competitiveness between the two foes.
🤬 Salt in the wound: The Wolverines planted a giant "M" flag on the 50-yard line in celebration of its first victory in Columbus since Bill Clinton was president.
👀 Eye-popping stat: Ryan Day is now 45-5 overall as head coach of the Buckeyes but 1-2 against Michigan.
What he's saying: Day is a coach now searching for answers.
- "We'll figure out what’s next. I don't know exactly what's next right now, but that's life at Ohio State," he said after the game.
What's next: The No. 5 Buckeyes are still eligible for the playoffs (to be announced Sunday), but the likeliest outcome is a return to the Rose Bowl on Jan. 2 to play a Pac-12 opponent.
- QB C.J. Stroud is noncommittal about suiting up again this season as he considers entering the NFL draft.
Reality check: There are no moral victories that come with losing a game this significant, but don't forget how Saturday felt — an undefeated powerhouse facing its undefeated rival in the season finale with so much on the line.
- The months of preparation, the week of nerves, the rush of game day. This is what being a fan is all about.
- Pressure, as the saying goes, is a privilege.
The bottom line: A loss like this will make the next victory in The Game even sweeter.
🧢 Last week, we asked readers to send in score predictions for a chance to win Axios swag.
- The winner: Aidan T., who predicted a 40-28 win for Michigan. Congratulations!
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