Obviously, we want OSU to go undefeated every year--and I'm actually optimistic that that will happen this Fall--but that's pretty tough to pull off, especially for a first-year HC with a first-year QB behind center. And considering our lack of a Power 5 non-conference opponent, I doubt I'll feel great about our playoff chances if we drop even one game this year. However, I think there is one game on our schedule that we might be able to afford to lose: Sept. 28 at Nebraska. There's a fair amount of hype around the Huskers this season and I think they have the pieces in place to win the B1G West, so I expect that the trip to Lincoln will be a major test for OSU. If we lose a close one there and avenge the loss in a rematch in the B1G championship game, I think we could still sneak into the playoff as a four-seed. I suppose the same could be said for a loss to Northwestern in the regular season and a rematch in Indianapolis, but frankly, I think the committee and the college football world in general would respect a loss to a good Nebraska team more than a loss to a good Northwestern team--Tom Osborne's legacy continues to do Nebraska a lot of favors, and if they put together a 10+ win season, college football pundits will immediately (and possibly prematurely) herald the Huskers' return to the top tier of blue blood programs. So, simply from an optics perspective, I'd rather lose to Nebraska than NW in this scenario.
What do you all think?