No Ohio St. vs Michigan: What’s Next for the Buckeyes?

The Ohio St. vs Michigan football game has been canceled for the first time in over 100 years, leaving the Buckeyes in a bind in its hopes to reach the college football playoffs. Ohio St. is fresh off their 52-12 win against Michigan State and was set to be a 29 point favorite against the Wolverines.

With the ever-changing Covid-19 season, things can happen in an instant. Michigan was struggling with an outbreak at the facility and it was reported that 45 players would have to miss the game. This is what eventually led to the game getting canceled, as Michigan felt the right thing to do was bow out. Ohio St. needs one more game to qualify for the Big Ten conference championship. The Ohio St Vs Michigan game was going to be that 6th game, but now the Buckeyes will be looking elsewhere.

When the announcement came on Tuesday afternoon that the game was officially canceled, Buckeye fans were wondering what would be next for their team. They already had two games this year get canceled, and were on the brink of not being eligible for the Big Ten championship game. This led to many fans speculating that the Buckeyes would schedule a sixth game in order to meet the demand set by the conference.

Ohio St. Vs Michigan: The 2020 Backstory

Back in October when the Big Ten announced they were going to have a college football season this year it also announced a set of rules. The most important of those rules was that teams must play at least six games to qualify for the Big Ten championship. At the time the rule seemed reasonable and was officially accepted by all 14 members of the universities.

Ohio State would go on to play their first three games of the season with no trouble. Starting the season 3-0 and already putting in a strong case for the title game. The 4th game against Maryland would be the first cancellation for the Buckeyes this season after Maryland was plagued with a Covid-19 outbreak. But Ohio State would move forward and take down the 9th ranked Hoosiers of Indiana and improve to 4-0. Then Ohio State would have its own Covid-19 problems and had to cancel against Illinois. This meant they had to play both of the final 2 games of the season in order to qualify for the conference championship.

The Michigan State game was in question, as well, but Ohio State knew how important the game was and played despite some starters missing. That lands us here. Ohio St Vs Michigan, the 6th game the Buckeyes needed and one of the most important games of the year for the players on both teams.

What’s next for the Buckeyes?

After Tuesday’s big news of the game’s cancellation, the Buckeyes had to figure out what the next move was. Little did they, or anyone, know that an answer to that question would come up the next day. On Wednesday, we learned that the Big Ten was going to change the rule. It was going to let the Buckeyes to play in the title game despite only having five games played.

Barring something crazy happening, I think it’s safe to say the Buckeyes will take the week off and get healthy. While many wanted to see the Michigan game get played this week, this result could prove to be a positive for Ohio St. They will get an extra week to get healthy and have the players who were diagnosed with Covid-19, come back and play. Not to mention they get an extra week to prepare for Northwestern.

The Wildcats have been great this season, so the step up in competition for the Buckeyes from Michigan should make for great TV. So while we may not be seeing Ohio St. vs Michigan, this should still be a great game.

The Buckeyes will travel to Indianapolis and take on the Wildcats in the Big Ten Championship game two Saturdays from now. Ohio St. still has its hopes set on playing in the College Football Playoff and would be almost guaranteed to make it with a win in that game.

Thanks for reading my article about what is next for the Buckeyes after Ohio St. vs Michigan was canceled for the first time in over 100 years.

Check out more of my content @malensek_j, and also follow @OTH_Football and @OT_Heroics

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