There are only three games left in this teh Ohio State Buckeyes' season. All three of these games are not only important in deciding OSU’s BCS fate, but also in deciding OSU’s Big Ten fate.
The success or failure of these three games will determine where the Buckeyes go at the end of the season.
These last three games of the season are all against Big Ten teams. Penn State, Iowa and Michigan.
As it stands now, OSU is tied with Michigan State for the best record in the Big Ten at 4-1. In order for OSU to have any hope of going for a share of the Big Ten title, it’s going to need to defeat its last three Big Ten opponents.
Obviously, if OSU wants to be the sole winner of the title, it is going to have to hope that MSU falls to another Big Ten team this season, in addition to winning the rest of its games.
So where will the Buckeyes go with either a shared or solo Big Ten title?
A Shared Title
Assuming OSU wins the last of its games, but still has to share a title with MSU, then it will all depend on who has the better BCS ranking at the end of the season.
As of right now, OSU is ranked No. 11 in the BCS polls and MSU is ranked at No. 14. If OSU can maintain at least a higher ranking, then even if they have to share a title with MSU in the Big Ten, they will most likely be going back to the Rose Bowl at the end of this year.
If OSU slips to a lower ranking than MSU in the BCS, then it will most likely go to either the Fiesta Bowl or the Sugar Bowl at the end of the season.
A Solo Title
Now, if MSU loses again to another Big Ten team and OSU can win the rest of its games, it will be the official Big Ten champion team this year.
Without having to share the title, OSU’s path is very clear from this scenario. The Buckeyes will be heading back to Pasadena to play in the Rose Bowl.
Both of these scenarios are based on the assumption that OSU will win its last three games of the season.
Looking at the teams left, Penn State shouldn’t give OSU too much trouble, but Iowa and Michigan are definitely games that won’t be easy for the Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes have struggled with road games this season. Between a poor showing at Illinois and a loss at Wisconsin, the away game at Iowa will be that much tougher for this Buckeye team. However, if they can get over their mental roadblock regarding away games, the Buckeyes have the potential to win this game.
Michigan is better this season than it has been in a while. This could give OSU a bit of trouble, but as long as the team focuses and plays at its best, then this game should end in victory for OSU.
The end of the season bowl play for the Buckeyes is entirely dependent on success or failure in these last three games.