The Ohio State Problem

Ohio State needs to find an opponent or a rule will be broken.

The college football industry has never had much integrity. The Marx Brothers 1932 movie Horse Feathers lampooned the college football industry and 88 years later, integrity is not a strong suit. The latest example of this is the Big Ten which decided to play football after shutting down the season because of COVID-19. There would be a requirement that a team would have to play six games to be eligible for a conference championship game appearance. Ohio State has played five games. Ohio State is not going to meet that threshold as its game with Michigan has been canceled because of a COVID-19 outbreak within the Michigan football program. That left two options on the table for Ohio State and the Big Ten. Throw the six-game minimum rule out or see if Ohio State could at the last minute find an opponent. This weekend’s Michigan-Ohio State game is not the only Big Ten game to be canceled. Purdue and Indiana University have decided not to play their Old Oaken Bucket game because both football programs have COVID-19 outbreaks.

College sports, football and basketball, are struggling to get product before the public. COVID-19 outbreaks are rising and games are being called off. There is only one reason the games are being played. Money. In mid-September, the chancellors and presidents of the Big Ten member schools decided all is well even though there were outbreaks of COVID-19 on college campuses around the United States. It was time to stop wasting time and get the student-athletes back on the practice field in the classroom meetings and play football. After all there is money being lost from television and marketing partners without a product, football games. The United States still has not contained COVID-19 but there is money on the table, football must be played.

Ohio State players celebrate with Haskell Garrett (92) after his touchdown on an interception during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Michigan State, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)