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Kirk Herbstreit Explains How Michigan, Ohio State Can Both Make Playoff

ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit

TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 23: ABC football analyst Kirk Herbstreit looks on before the college football game between the Oregon Ducks and the Arizona State Sun Devils on November 23, 2019 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

There's so much on the line for this weekend's Ohio State-Michigan game. 

The Buckeyes and Wolverines are ranked second and third, respectively, in the College Football Playoff top 25. The winner of "The Game" will move on to the Big Ten title game and essentially clinch a playoff berth.

But is their room for both Ohio State and Michigan in the playoff? Kirk Herbstreit thinks so, and he laid out the potential scenario that would need to play out in order for the Big Ten to get two teams in.

"If (LSU) were to win the SEC Championship, that would put them in. The loser of the Ohio State-Michigan game is rooting for Georgia to win and knock LSU out,” Herbstreit said Tuesday night. “I think the other thing that stands out is what happens to USC. Because you’re potentially setting up, with Ohio State and Michigan playing each other, you start to look down, if everything works out the way it should, which rarely it does, but if Georgia beats LSU, now you’ve got USC and Notre Dame and a Pac-12 championship.

“If USC were to stumble, that’s where things would get really interesting, with the loser of the Ohio State-Michigan game, who is the discussion with… You are looking at a potential of getting both Ohio State and Michigan in if you get a couple losses there at 5 and 6."

The Big Ten has never gotten two teams into the College Football Playoff. If the situation Herbstreit described above takes place, the OSU-Michigan loser could be competing with a one-loss ACC champion Clemson team for the final spot.

Ohio State would have the advantage over the Tigers in that scenario, as they have a win over Notre Dame, which handed Clemson its only loss back on Nov. 5.

Michigan and Clemson would conceivably be a tougher debate for the committee to consider.

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