- The annual Michigan Wolverines vs. Ohio State Buckeyes game has been canceled due to rising cases of COVID-19 on Michigan’s team.
- Ohio State was favored by thirty points on the spread before the cancellation of the game.
- The Buckeyes have only played five games this season but the Big Ten requires six games to qualify for the Big Ten Championship.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – One of the most historic rivalries in all of American sports has officially been canceled.
The Michigan Wolverines will not be taking on the Ohio State Buckeyes this Saturday due to a rising number of COVID-19 cases being reported out of the Wolverines camp. The team issued a press release on Tuesday explaining why they are unable to compete.
“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.”
The Ohio State Buckeyes were expected to dominate this game. College football betting sites open up the spread at 30 points favoring the Buckeyes.
However, many college football bettors have bigger concerns as the odds for the College Football Playoff could be drastically effected by the cancellation.
What Does This Mean For The Buckeyes?
The Big Ten shot itself in the foot before the season began when they announced that they’ll be starting their season in late October. The late starting date doesn’t give the conference the luxury of reshuffling schedules easily.
The Big Ten also announced that teams going to the Big Ten Championship have to have played in at least six games or whatever the amount of games the conference averages out at the end of the season.
The Buckeyes currently sit at 5-0 for the season and are ranked fourth in the CFP rankings. They also had the third shortest odds to win the College Football Playoff Championship at +450.
There was speculation that Michigan may sit out the game against the Buckeyes in an effort to stop them from making the Playoffs. ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit echoed these speculations before apologizing for them.
However, not all hope is lost for Ohio State fans or bettors. Big Ten Athletic Directors are set to meet on Wednesday to discuss possibly changing the benchmark to allow the Buckeyes into the conference championship to play the Northwestern Wildcats.
“I know those guys are going to come together and take a hard look at it and make sure it was the right decision,” said Ryan Day, head coach of the Buckeyes when speaking on the meeting.
Ohio State could potentially play another team before the scheduled Big Ten Conference Championship on December 19.
However, if the Big Ten decides to keep the rules the same and not reschedule a team for Ohio State to play, the Indiana Hoosiers would go to the Conference championship.
Could The Buckeyes Reach The CFP Without A Big Ten Title?
The possibility for the Buckeyes to miss the Playoffs has only been accelerated with the cancellation of the Michigan game.
Most legal sports betting sites have taken down the odds to win the College Football Playoff Championship with news coming out of Ann Arbor. However, when the odds come back up, betting on Ohio State to win the CFP Championship could still be a solid wager.
Non-Conference winners have reached the Playoffs in the past. To guarantee the Buckeyes a spot they’ll need one of two things to happen.
The first scenario would be that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeat the Clemson Tigers again in the ACC Championship. The second scenario would be that the Alabama Crimson Tide defeat the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship.
However, if Clemson were to defeat Notre Dame, they would likely remain in the top four. If the Gators defeat the Crimson Tide, it would also likely buy them both a shot at the CFP.
The only other team sitting at the top of the rankings is the Texas A&M Aggies who won’t be playing in a conference title game.
Given all these circumstances, the Buckeyes odds to win the CFP Championship may be longer than they would normally be when they come back up, making it the perfect time to take them.
– In his career, Hasan has worked both local and state government positions—including the Attorney General’s Office in Florida. On top of being familiar with the legislative process, he has also been researching and writing on the legality of sports betting across the US. Outside of work you’ll most likely find him producing or playing music, playing sports, or working on creative writing projects. You’ll also catch him at Doak Campbell Stadium cheering on the Noles.