The University of Michigan announced today that it was canceling its football game against Ohio State due to COVID-19 concerns inside Wolverines program. This means that Ohio State is stuck at just five games played for the season, which the Big Ten had previously said would not be enough to qualify for the conference title game.
That leaves Indiana as the next team up to represent the East Division. At 6-1, the Hoosiers have had a great season, but they’ve also already lost to Ohio State and are on the outside of the College Football Playoff picture without a resume that matches up to SEC hopefuls Florida and Texas A&M. Indiana’s big win over Penn State to start the campaign doesn’t look that great anymore, and its two quality wins over Maryland and Wisconsin are suspect because those two programs have only been able to play four games a piece.
The Hoosiers don’t give the Big Ten a good chance at a College Football Playoff participant, so what gives? Well, it looks like the Big Ten is going to bend the rules it made up at the start of the season and let Ohio State play West Division champ Northwestern despite its smaller-than-expected schedule.
I’m in favor of letting Ohio State play in the Big Ten Championship Game for a couple of reasons. 1) The six-game thing was just made up anyway and Ohio State got in a victory over its top competitor. 2) Any college football fan who watched the Buckeyes play this season can tell that they are the top team in the Big Ten. Just let them in. I might think differently if they hadn’t defeated Indiana, but the Hoosiers were clearly the only Big Ten member with a prayer of stopping Ohio State in 2020, and that game happened.
The real question is whether or not the College Football Playoff committee should keep Ohio State in its top four when the SEC teams mentioned earlier have both played at least three more games than the Buckeyes. The committee concerns itself with quality of victory all the time, but never before have they seen such a difference in QUANTITY of victory, and that’s where Ohio State can get into trouble. Even if it secures a sixth win over Northwestern, is that enough to keep it above a Texas A&M team that has defeated Florida, LSU, and Auburn?
I’m not sure what they would do since there’s no precedent, but why not figure it out on the field? That’s what Texas A&M lunatic Kayce Smith is proposing in the wake of the Aggies not being able to play against Ole Miss this weekend. Ohio State vs. Texas A&M with the Playoff on the line sounds amazing, but if Ohio State is confident that the committee will honor its undefeated record with a Playoff spot, is there any reason for the Buckeyes to risk the biscuit? There could be, depending on what happens in the SEC and ACC title games.
In a year where resume and style points matter even more, it seems like this would be a no brainer. And to all the OSU fans in my mentions like “LOL WHY WOULD WE DO THIS!!? LMAO WHY WOULD YOU WANT THIS?”
UH HELLO, IF YOU’RE SO CONFIDENT… WHY DON’T YOU DO IT? Plus if Florida beats Alabama and Clemson beats Notre Dame, who is to say Ohio State wouldn’t be left out with their current resume? I’d say a win over a Top 5 team would help that. No?
Plus, at some point you have to just sack up and do something to challenge yourself, entertain the fans, and prove the haters wrong. Ohio State would have more to lose in this proposal since Texas A&M is left out of the SEC title game, but it’s not as though there’s nothing to gain for the Buckeyes. At 5-0 or 6-0, they would be left at the whims of the committee, but at 7-0 with a victory over No. 5 Texas A&M, they would be assured of a Playoff spot.
So who is responsible for making this happen? I’m not sure, but I do know that BYU and Coastal Carolina just put together a Group of Five showdown in a matter of days. It’s up to the athletic directors and conference administrators to get on the phone and get something done. Maybe if they remember that college football is supposed to be fun, we’ll get to see some non-conference action this weekend.