Ohio State head coach Ryan Day tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, that is not the worst news of the day. It was later announced that the Illinois game was being canceled due to more positive tests.
Several media outlets carried the news on Twitter, but The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel made an interest point. If either of Ohio State’s remaining two games are canceled, the Buckeyes would not be eligible for the Big Ten title game next month.
Ohio State-Illinois is now canceled tomorrow. More positives came back today.
This could become a real big problem. If Ohio State can’t play next week either it won’t be eligible for Big Ten title game.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 28, 2020
This is obviously massive news.
The reason Ohio State would not be eligible is a policy put in place by the conference. In order to play in the Big Ten Championship Game, the team has to play a minimum of six games. The Buckeyes already had to cancel the Maryland game back on Nov. 14.
That means another canceled game would put them below the six-game threshold to be eligible. What would that do to their College Football Playoff chances? It’s hard to say at this time, as COVID-19 has forced a more flexible and accepting approach.
But this is obviously going to cause some controversy and debate regardless.
The last two games on Ohio State’s schedule includes a road game to Michigan State and a home game against Michigan. In other words, Jim Harbaugh might finally have a chance to keep the Buckeyes out of the Playoff.
He just has to figure out a way to avoid playing them.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.