Michigan State might be down, but Spartans coach Mark Dantonio stressed this week his team is not out when it comes to the Big Ten and national championship races.
"We still control our own destiny," Dantonio said after the Spartans lost 39-38 at Nebraska. "We’ve got the win over Michigan. We play Ohio State…, so the goal is to win the East, get to that championship game and see how it all shakes from there."
That is tied with Utah and TCU for the 10th best chance at this point, but it stands to reason knocking off Ohio State (currently with the second-best chance to make the playoff and tied with Clemson for the best chance of winning it all) would drastically alter the numbers in MSU’s favor.
Despite their loss, the Spartans are still projected to have a better chance at making the playoff than undefeated Iowa or twice-beaten Michigan. The Hawkeyes and Wolverines are both projected to have an eight percent chance at making the playoff.
MSU already beat Michigan and would likely take on Iowa in the Big Ten championship game — if the Spartans win their last three regular season games.
As for the Big Ten, OSU is the overwhelming favorite with a 46 percent probability while MSU’s stands at 12 percent, Michigan at 13 percent and Iowa at 27 percent.