The ruling on the field: Your 2020 Indiana Hoosiers are in the Big Ten championship game.
But the play is under review.
The University of Michigan announced on Tuesday that it will not play Ohio State this weekend due to a rise in COVID-19 cases within its program.
Here is the release from Michigan:
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan Athletic Department announced Tuesday (Dec. 8) that an increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases and student-athletes in quarantine over the past week will result in the cancellation of Saturday’s (Dec. 12) scheduled game at Ohio State. This decision was made after conversations with medical experts, health department officials and university administration.
“The number of positive tests has continued to trend in an upward direction over the last seven days,” said Warde Manuel, U-M’s Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. “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.”
Michigan will continue daily testing with hopes of getting back on the practice field when cleared by medical professionals. The Big Ten will hold its Champions Week of games on Dec. 18-19.
Under the rules set out by the Big Ten when the abbreviated 2020 schedule was released, teams must play at least six games to qualify for the Big Ten championship game.
As it stands, Ohio State (5-0) has played only five games, including a 42-35 win over Indiana (6-1).
League officials are concerned that if Ohio State does not play in the Big Ten title game it could adversely impact their chance to qualify for the College Football Playoff.
According to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, the Big Ten athletic directors will meet tomorrow and decide how to address the situation.
“Big Ten athletic directors are scheduled to meet Wednesday morning, their normal meeting, around 8 a.m. ET,” Rittenberg wrote on Twitter. “Obviously could be another meeting called now in light of the Ohio State-Michigan news. ADs would be ones to ultimately decide if the policy changes.”
The league has several options, including (1) allowing Indiana to play Northwestern in the title game, (2) amending its rules to allow Ohio State to play in the title game despite only playing five games, or (3) find a week eight opponent for Ohio State.
PURDUE CANCELS TUESDAY PRACTICE
Soon after the news broke that the Michigan – Ohio State game was canceled, Purdue issued a release.
It seems that annual rivalry game is in jeopardy too.
“The Purdue football program has cancelled practice Tuesday to evaluate the results of recent COVID-19 testing,” the Purdue Athletics released stated.
At this moment, Saturday’s battle for the Old Oaken Bucket is still on as scheduled.
But stay tuned.
BIG TEN STATEMENT
The Big Ten released a statement on the news of the Ohio State-Michigan cancellation and the related Big Ten championship game implications.
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