Sooner or later, it was going to happen - Ohio State was going to lose a game. No one expected the Buckeyes to never lose a game again (the law of averages doesn't allow for that). But the crew in Columbus definitely didn't want it to happen on Saturday night in Indianapolis against Michigan State in the Big Ten title game.
However, the law of averages finally caught up to the Buckeyes - and it's costing them a trip to Pasadena.
On Saturday night, Ohio State lost to Michigan State, 34-24. The loss cost the Buckeyes not only a trip to the National Championship Game but also to the Rose Bowl. The Buckeyes will have to wait until later tonight to find out where their bowl game will be held, and who their opponent will be.
Give credit to Michigan State. Everyone in the country knew the defense was its strongest part, but the offense did just as much to take down the Buckeyes.
While the game had many big plays - some for and some against the Buckeyes - by far the two biggest series of the game were the first two out of the gate.
Michigan State started with the ball in the first quarter, and burned off a huge chunk of clock before putting up the first three points of the game. It was the perfect way to start the night - burn a lot of time and keep Ohio State's offense off the field.
While Michigan State had to be pleased to get three points on the board, it had to have been ecstatic to force Ohio State into a three-and-out situation on its first drive of the game. And for the cherry on top, the Spartans held Ohio State scoreless in the first quarter - the first time that had happened all season.
After last week's defensive embarrassment against Michigan (Ohio State gave up 603 yards), it was pretty clear that the only chance the Buckeyes had to winning against the Spartans was for the offense to simply outgain and outscore Michigan State. Unfortunately, that didn't happen either.
The numbers don't lie: Michigan State outgained the Buckeyes in total yards (438 to 374), had fewer penalties and converted five of 15 third-down conversions and both fourth-down conversions it attempted. Then there is also that big stat of time of possession. Michigan State had the ball for 5 more minutes than the Buckeyes.
Anyone who watched the game will likely say that Michigan State deserved to win. I'm one of those people. However, what will the Spartans be now known for??Representing the Big 10 in the Rose Bowl by upsetting the No. 2 team in the country or the team that finally gave Ohio State their first loss since the Gator Bowl in 2011??
For at least a little while, it will likely be the latter option. It's not often that a team wins 24-straight games over the span of two seasons. And it's not often that a team can give that 24-win team its first loss in prime time with the entire country watching.