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Published: Thursday, 11/1/2012

End Zone: Ohio State 11-1


I am not one to challenge the wisdom of computers. We saw how that worked out for Ken Jennings — vanquished by Watson on Jeopardy — and presumptuous Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov. But I have a bone to pick with one of Deep Blue's digital homeboys. According to statistician Paul Bessire's Predictalator, which simulated each of Ohio State's remaining three games 50,000 times, the Buckeyes have a 28.8 percent chance of finishing unbeaten.

With all due respect to prediction machine.com — and less due respect to OSU's last three opponents — I say it's happening.

The Buckeyes' most complete effort of the season at Penn State accompanied by more Big Ten sorrow elsewhere last weekend recast expectations. OSU must navigate home games against 24-point underdog Illinois and a Michigan team that mustered a combined 21 points the past two weeks, and an afternoon visit to Wisconsin, which just lost starting quarterback Joel Stave (broken collarbone) for the season in a home loss to Michigan State.

By my computations — simulating each game once in my head — Ohio State has a 78.4 percent of remaining undefeated, with a margin of error of plus or minus 48 percent. Hey, I'm not perfect. But the Buckeyes should be.

For all things OSU sports, follow David's blog, Dotting the 'Eyes.

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