Big Ten May Have to Bend Own Rules for Dominant Buckeyes

Ohio State made easy work of Michigan State, and now the question becomes what comes next.

The answer may or may not be Michigan.

Let's start with Saturday, when the Buckeyes romped the Spartans by a 52-12 count. Ohio State is 5-0 and ranked fourth in the nation.

Next up is Michigan, a week from today, at Ohio Stadium. At least, that's the game that is on the schedule.

But it's also the game in question, as COVID-related issues have threatened the remainder of the Wolverines' season. That's big news, because the Buckeyes have already had two games cancelled. The Big Ten is requiring teams to play at least six to qualify for the conference championship game.

So Michigan isn't just an opponent Ohio State needs to beat. It's an opponent Ohio State needs to play.

Then again, since the Buckeyes have been so utterly dominant, loud cries have emerged that they should play in the Big Ten championship game, whether they manage to squeeze in six games or not.

And why not?

Their lack of total games sure doesn't seem to bother the College Football Playoff committee, which has the Buckeyes ranked fourth and in the mix. Does the Big Ten really want to lose an opportunity to be represented on the sport's biggest stage just because, you know, of a hardened stance?

There are no answers yet. The Big Ten hasn't said anything to the effect that it will make an exception. And maybe Michigan will find that it will indeed be ready in time for the game -- ending the conversation.

But until then, it's like the most things this sports season. It's one big unknown. About the only thing we can say for sure is Ohio State deserves a shot to play for the Big Ten title, a chance to advance to the playoffs that will determine the next national champion.

The Buckeyes have done nothing short of prove that over and over again.