The Big Ten may change the rule requiring teams to play at least 6 games before they can be eligible for the conference championship game. After back-and-forth reports on the situation over the last few days, it looks like No. 4 Ohio State will have an opportunity to compete after all.
According to a tweet from Adam Rittenberg at ESPN, the only thing standing in the way of final approval is a vote from athletic directors, SWAs and presidents/chancellors — and that vote is a formality, at this point.
Sources tell @CFBHeather that the Big Ten is expected to change the 6-game requirement for the league title game, pending further approval from athletic directors, SWAs and presidents/chancellors. This would allow #OhioState to face #Northwestern next week in Indianapolis.
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) December 9, 2020
Obviously, this is massive news because it gives the Buckeyes a chance to improve their resume before the College Football Playoff committee selects its four teams.
As it sits, Ohio State will likely play Northwestern on Dec. 19 — as long as that final vote does, in fact, change the rule.
Some may be frustrated with the Big Ten’s decision to overturn the six-game requirement, and that is understandable. It was certainly done to accommodate one team, the Buckeyes. A non-playoff contender would probably not have been accommodated.
But it was a terrible rule in the first place, especially when you consider the 21-day quarantine requirement for players and coaches testing positive for COVID-19. Ohio State didn’t stand a chance with that rule in place.
And if we are being honest, the Buckeyes should absolutely be in the conversation about the top teams in the country. Are they? We don’t know, but it looks like we may get to find out.
It’s not a guarantee that a 6-0 Buckeyes squad gets in the playoff, but this news certainly helps.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.