Ohio State football can follow this plan from Alabama from resurrection to national champions

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State soccer coach Ryan Day gave his team two examples this week that a late-season loss doesn’t necessarily ruin a season.

The Buckeyes were probably aware of the first. Georgia went undefeated in last season’s SEC championship game before suffering a 41-24 loss to Alabama. The Bulldogs had to fight their way back to a rematch in the national championship game where they avenged their loss to Nick Saban’s team.

The other example, however, is even more telling of what the Buckeyes hope to accomplish over the next five months. And there it is also about Saban.

Ohio State expects its name to appear in the top 4 in today’s Selection Sunday reveal at 12pm on ESPN. That was far from a guarantee five nights ago when OSU was tied for No. 5 and wouldn’t be playing over the weekend of the conference championship. A 45-23 home loss to Michigan had knocked the Buckeyes out of the playoff picture.

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After losing to Michigan, Ryan Day says Ohio State football is “going to be aggressive and go at people” in the playoffs.

Alabama was in the same position five years earlier. It was 11-0 and No. 1 in the CFP rankings before a 26-14 loss in his own rivalry game in Auburn. The Crimson Tide dropped to 5th place behind 11-1 Clemson, 10-2 Auburn, 11-1 Oklahoma and 12-0 Wisconsin.

Saban’s team needed some help, and a two-loss OSU team delivered some by beating Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game. Auburn also lost to Georgia in the SEC championship game to suffer a third loss.

When selection Sunday’s broadcast broke, both Georgia and Alabama were in the top four.

Then Alabama set about proving it deserved this controversial second chance. It started with an outstanding defensive performance against No. 1 Clemson. Kelly Bryant threw two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, and the Tigers managed just two field goals in a 24-6 loss.

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This led to a national championship game against their SEC-wide rival, Georgia. Former Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs controlled the first half and extended a 13-0 lead.

Saban benched Jalen Hurts at half-time in favor of Tua Tagovailoa and the rest is history. Then-rookie’s touchdown pass to DaVonta Smith in overtime secured a 26-23 win.

A defeat in the postseason. A series of events that worked in their favor. A selection that was anything but universally recognized. A semi-final win over the #1 team and a championship win over their own conference champion.

The state of Ohio is already down this path, and each of these other steps may yet unfold as well.

If you or a loved one have questions and need to speak to a gambling professional, call the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-589-9966 or the National Council on Program Gambling Helpline (NCPG) at 1-800-522 . 4700

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