Why Michigan was forced to cancel The Game vs. Ohio State

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Wolverines. (Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Wolverines. (Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports) /

Michigan was severely short-handed and had to cancel the rivalry game with Ohio State.

Michigan wanted to play Ohio State but there was no way with nearly half the roster out because of COVID-19 issues.

The Game is off for the first time since it wasn’t played from 1913-1917 as the best rivalry in college football is the latest game to fall by the wayside due to the circumstances of the COVID pandemic.

The Ohio State-Michigan game has many ripple effects as it relates to the Buckeyes moving forward, but blaming Michigan shouldn’t be at the top of their list.

Michigan couldn’t escape the virus just like Ohio State couldn’t escape the virus and countless others in college football, the U.S.A. and around the world have been unable to elude the virus.

Why did Michigan have to cancel the Ohio State game?

According to The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman, Michigan football was going to be without 45 players due to COVID-19 cases, contact tracing and injury. This leaves Jim Harbaugh will about half of his normal roster to play against Ohio State.

While Ohio State certainly would welcome that and the healthy and able Michigan football players would welcome that opportunity because they are competitors, it just wasn’t a reality.

Because Michigan hasn’t been able to hold a practice since Nov. 27, they were unable to play a game.

It’s okay to be disappointed the game won’t be played, but it’s not fair to lay blame at Michigan’s feet if you’re an Ohio State fan. If you feel the need to blame someone for this, blame the Big Ten athletic directors for instituting a six-game minimum to be eligible for the Big Ten Championship Game. And blame the Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren for being stubborn and not starting the season until late October and removing any flexibility to allow for reshuffling schedules when this inevitably arises like the ACC, Big 12 and SEC were able to do.

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