Ohio State football is not ruling out playing Michigan State football next week in East Lansing.
Ohio State football needs to avoid having another game canceled at all costs to be Big Ten viable.
The Ohio State Buckeyes had their road game vs. the Illinois Fighting Illini canceled after an internal outbreak of the coronavirus. Head coach Ryan Day was one of the Buckeyes who tested positive. Ohio State has already had another Big Ten game canceled due to COVID-19. With a third cancellation, it would make Ohio State ineligible to play in the Big Ten Championship game.
For Ohio State to be able to play Michigan State next week, the Buckeyes need to return to practice on Thursday. This would allow them to have one practice, one walkthrough and allow them to make the trek to East Lansing to play the Spartans. While a third cancelation does not remove the Buckeyes from the College Football Playoff equation, it does put it on life support.
“The thing that we fear the most, every time those test results come back, you hold your breath every day to see what’s going on and how you’re team’s doing, and here we are this week,” Day said.” … We’re hoping to get some of these tests back, get some good news there, and then put the focus towards Michigan State.”
What are the chances the Big Ten gets left out of the College Football Playoff?
While Ohio State stands as the Big Ten’s best chance of getting a team into the College Football Playoff, the Buckeyes are not the only team capable of getting in. Entering Week 13, the No. 8 Northwestern Wildcats are undefeated in the Big Ten West, heavily favored to face either Ohio State or whoever comes out of the Big Ten East in Indianapolis with a playoff berth on the line.
If Northwestern avoids cancelations and goes undefeated as a Big Ten Champion, the Wildcats will get in. While the Buckeyes could still theoretically get in as an undefeated non-champion with something like a 6-0 record, that may not be enough to entice the Selection Committee of letting them in. If the Wildcats lose in Indianapolis to the Indiana Hoosiers, that could be problematic.
This is why it is so important for the Buckeyes to do whatever it takes to play Michigan State next week and Michigan the week after that.