ANN ARBOR, Michigan – Now what.

Ohio State’s next move is out of its hands. The Buckeyes need lots of help this weekend in the conference championship games to even get a sniff at the 4-team Playoff.

Saturday’s 30-24 loss at No. 3 Michigan, a wildly entertaining game for everyone but the No. 2 Buckeyes and their legion of fans, knocked so many goals out from under them.

Most importantly and emotionally in the moment was not avenging losses the past 2 years to the Wolverines. Next is missing out on a shot at the national championship. Put the rest of these in any order: no undefeated regular season, no Big Ten title, and probably the last time Marvin Harrison Jr. plays for the Buckeyes.

The leftover reward, which feels fully like a consolation prize, is likely the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30 against Louisville.

Best win: Notre Dame

The Buckeyes went to South Bend at night and scored with a second to go for a 17-14 victory in a matchup of top 10 teams.

Quarterback Kyle McCord led a game-winning drive and earned respect from the fans. However, the up-and-down nature of his play since hasn’t convinced everyone that he is the guy to lead this team where it wants to go next year.

Worst loss: Michigan

Whether this was the only loss or not, this would be the worst one because it always is. As much as the loss to Georgia in the Playoff last year stings, the Michigan loss stings more. That’s just the way it is.

Even in the loss to Georgia there was a measure of “we can play with these guys.” But Michigan losses, no matter how they happen, are never acceptable at any level.

Player of the year: Marvin Harrison Jr.

This is easy. Not just Ohio State players and coaches, but many national commentators have said Harrison is the best player in the country. That probably won’t equate to winning the Heisman Trophy, but, as McCord said Saturday, his teammate will be remembered as one of the greatest Buckeyes ever.

Harrison said he saw double-coverage schemes from Michigan he’s never seen before. He still caught five passes for 118 yards, with a long of 44 yards and a 14-yard touchdown. He set the OSU record with his 15th career 100-yard game, snapping a tie with David Boston.

In 2 full seasons, plus the Rose Bowl his freshman year, Harrison is 6th on the OSU charts with 155 career receptions, 6th in career receiving yards at 2,613 and 3rd with 31 touchdown receptions.

His season numbers: 67 receptions, 1,211 yards, 14 touchdowns, 18.1 yards per catch. Plus, he has scored touchdowns in 8 consecutive games and 12 overall during that stretch.

Biggest surprise: Michigan loss

The Buckeyes, it seemed, were peaking toward this game. The defense had been repaired since the past 2 seasons. The offense was building consistency.

But it didn’t happen. McCord threw an interception in the first quarter that allowed Michigan to grab an early 7-0 lead. And the Buckeyes had to play catch up all day because the defense, that hadn’t given up more than 17 points this season, struggled to get off the field against aggressive play calling.

When the Ohio State offense got rolling in the second half, it didn’t get enough chances or enough time to get to the lead because the defense allowed points on all 4 of Michigan’s second-half possessions.

And Ohio State is left to grieve and figure out how to beat Michigan for another 365 days.