Jay LaPrete/Associated Press
So, they lost.
Indiana’s Saturday could be summarized in a single sentence. In a sport fixated on results, there is no escaping the final outcome. The Hoosiers were unable to complete what would have amounted to a legendary comeback. Ohio State, along with its Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff aspirations, survived in Columbus.
We could stop there. The final score, a 42-35 thriller, tells a story. But not the whole story.
The story here is not Justin Fields’ Heisman possibilities or the Buckeyes’ chase for a national championship, which are both still very much alive. There will be days and weeks for that.
The story here is the losing team—the team that will not win a national championship or a Heisman. The story here is Indiana, what could’ve been and almost was, and how magical this year has been despite the sudden imperfection.