A messy 2020 Big Ten football season could get messier.
And more interesting for Indiana (4-1).
The cancellation of Saturday’s Ohio State vs. Illinois game due to COVID-19 puts the Buckeyes on the brink of elimination from the Big Ten Championship game.
Big Ten rules published along with the modified eight game schedule require that a team play at least six games to qualify for the Dec. 19 Big Ten championship game.
Because Ohio State has now had two games canceled this season, the Buckeyes would be ineligible to play in the Big Ten Championship Game if either of their final two regular-season games are not played.
Ohio State (4-0) has paused all football team activities for the time being. Other Big Ten teams (Wisconsin and Maryland) that have had to pause team activities have ended up missing multiple games. Ohio State’s game next week against Michigan State could be in jeopardy, too.
The six game rule is not set in stone.
If the average number of games played throughout the Big Ten falls below six – and as of now, the average number of projected games is still above seven – the six game requirement will be reduced.
Clarification from the conference on the math behind the Big Ten Championship Gm eligibility rules: Assuming the 4 remaining games today are played, 12 of the 14 gms scheduled for the final 2 wks would need to be canceled for a team to qualify for Indy w/ fewer than 6 gms played.
— Dave Revsine (@BTNDaveRevsine) November 28, 2020
Maryland (2-1), Indiana’s opponent on Saturday, is the only other one loss team in East along with IU.
The Hoosiers hold at least a two game lead and a tiebreaker advantage over every other team in the division.
See also: Maryland game day primer and prediction
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