Big Ten, Buckeyes' Playoff hopes in danger? Michigan announces Ohio State game has been canceled
Michigan is canceling its game against Ohio State on Saturday, the Wolverines announced Tuesday afternoon.
Here’s the statement from Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel:
“The number of positive tests has continued to trend in an upward direction over the last seven days,” Manuel wrote. “We have not been cleared to participate in practice at this time. Unfortunately, we will not be able to field a team due to COVID-19 positives and the associated quarantining required of close contact individuals.
“This decision is disappointing for our team and coaches but their health and safety is paramount, and it will always come first in our decision-making.”
The Wolverines also canceled their game last week. There was optimism they’d be able to play the Buckeyes as recently as Monday.
This means Ohio State will end Big Ten play with a 5-0 record, putting the conference in a tough spot. The conference previously announced a policy that says teams who don’t play at least six games will not be eligible to win a division championship.
That means the Buckeyes, under the current rule, would not be eligible for the Big Ten Championship Game on Dec. 19.
However, Big Ten power brokers like Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez have implied that an exception might be made for Ohio State.
OSU is currently No. 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings despite a relative lack of games played.
Northwestern will play Indiana in the Big Ten title game if an exception is not made. The Hoosiers are 6-1 after beating Wisconsin last week, and would be 7-1 with a win over Purdue on Saturday.
Michigan ends its regular season with a 2-4 record.