Saturday’s Big Ten rivalry game between Ohio State and Michigan football has been canceled. The Wolverines have been dealing with a significant outbreak over the last week, and the game has been in question for a few days now.
The move has serious potential repercussions for the Buckeyes—the league’s only real College Football Playoff hopeful. At five games, they are not currently eligible to play in the Big Ten Championship Game. That could call into question whether the selection committee will continue to rank them ahead of Texas A&M and others, who continue to get games in and bolster their resumes.
“We are aware of the cancellation of the football game between the University of Michigan and The Ohio State University this weekend,” the Big Ten said in its release on the news. “The decision was made today by the University of Michigan because of an increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases and student-athletes in quarantine over the past week. Michigan made its determination after conversations with medical experts, health department officials, and university administrations.
So far, no decisions about changing the requirements for the Big Ten Championship, or allowing for new replacement games has been made. The league’s release does mention the possibility of a change coming to the title game.
— Big Ten Conference (@bigten) December 8, 2020
“The Michigan-Ohio State rivalry is one of the most important rivalries in all of sports. The conference shares the disappointment of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, partners and fans,” the statement continues.
“The conference is committed to transparency and will continue to collaborate with its member institution stakeholders to determine Big Ten Football Championship Game participation requirements as well as tiebreakers.”
Ohio State is the only undefeated team in the Big Ten East, at 5-0. Based on the current rules, Indiana football would be in line to face Northwestern in the conference title game at 6-1. The Buckeyes beat the Hoosiers in their head-to-head game this year, 42-35.
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