I’m not going to lie to you guys — things have looked better!
Despite what some may have you think, the COVID-19 pandemic is nowhere near over, and this weekend’s college football slate is a huge indicator that things are trending in the wrong direction. As of the time this is being written, we have already seen 15 games cancelled or postponed as a result of outbreaks this week — including Ohio State’s matchup against Maryland.
As the country struggles to take the necessary steps in handling this virus, college football is really starting to feel the effects. If we do not remain vigilant and listen to the scientists and health experts, the rest of the 2020 season could be in jeopardy. We obviously want to see the Buckeyes take the field the remainder of the year and finish out what could be an impressive campaign, but we all must do our part to make sure that happens.
With the doom and gloom out of the way, let’s get to today’s headlines.
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
Buckeyes trying to flip four-star LSU commit
(Caleb Houser, LGHL)
Ryan Day’s work in the 2021 class isn’t done until National Signing Day, and he's hoping for some late magic to flip a four-star LSU linebacker commit.
The three biggest questions for OSU basketball heading into the season
(Connor Lemons, LGHL)
Believe it or not, the college basketball season is (hopefully) right around the corner! What are some of the Buckeyes’ most pressing questions heading into the new campaign?
Podcast: Uncut audio of Chris Holtmann previewing unusual season
(Matt Tamanini, LGHL)
Need more preseason Ohio State basketball content to prepare you for a potentially odd pandemic season? Get more info straight from the coach’s mouth.
Notre Dame, Florida and Oregon look to keeping rolling this weekend
(Brett Ludwiczak, LGHL)
The slate keeps taking hits this weekend, but Brett has all the college football betting info you could ask for. Plus, none of these games have been cancelled (yet)!
From around the gridiron...
Chris Olave has come a long way since his days as a three-star recruit out of California. The incredibly talented wide receiver burst on the scene at the end of the 2018, with a coming out party against Michigan that included a pair of touchdown catches and a blocked punt. Since that time, he has played his way towards being a potential first-round NFL Draft pick, become the favorite end zone target of Justin Fields, and is now No. 7 all-time in program history in TD receptions.
Chris Olave, who Ryan Day believes is the best wide receiver he's coached, continues to build his legacy and climb the record books at Ohio State by consistently making big plays. https://t.co/MNT5R8vFR7— Eleven Warriors (@11W) November 13, 2020
On Thursday, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told Sirius XM that the College Football Playoff committee had been discussing potentially delaying the CFP in light of all of the COVID-19 outbreaks across the sport. He backed off of those comments a bit on Friday, saying, ““We’re not going to move off of that schedule unless we’re forced to move off of it,” but did acknowledge that they continue to discuss contingency plans.
In addition to the obvious let down of not having a game this weekend, Ryan Day now has just a bit more to worry about in terms of keeping his team safe. With more free time on their hands without a trip to Maryland on the schedule, the Buckeyes will have to make sure they continue to stick to the protocols this weekend — which I'm sure is a sentiment Day continues to hammer home at practice.
No game? No problem. The Lettermen Row guys give their bold predictions anyway.
Long live the Illibuck.
Another day, another advanced metric that says Justin Fields is awesome.
Highest passer ratings on throws 20+ yards downfield:— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 13, 2020
1. Justin Fields - 154.4
2. Kyle Trask - 146.8
3. Zach Wilson - 141.0
4. Feleipe Franks - 137.9 pic.twitter.com/8kDZPPDIBq
From around the hardwood...
Ohio State officially got a new addition to its roster on Friday, as four-star shooting guard Meechie Johnson has reclassified to the 2020 class and will join the Buckeyes later this season. The No. 2 player in Ohio in his original cycle, Johnson will be eligible to suit up for OSU come January — right around the scheduled start of conference play.
In addition to Johnson, Ohio State hoops also officially signed four-star 2021 power forward Kalen Etzler on Friday. The 6-foot-8 big man is a top-100 player nationally, and will be enrolled for the 2021-22 season.
Likely rounding out the 2021 class, the Buckeyes also signed St. Vincent-St. Mary shooting guard Malaki Branham. A four-star prospect, Branham is the No. 4 SG and No. 28 player overall in the cycle.
I would keep your eyes peeled for another potential Ohio State basketball commit to be announced within the hour. As usual, we here at LGHL will have you covered if/when that happens.
From everywhere else...
The Ohio State men’s ice hockey team has announced its captains for the upcoming season. Senior Austin Pooley will rock the “C” on his jersey as the primary captain, while Grant Gabriele, Quinn Preston and Gustaf Westlund will function as the alternates.
History was made in the MLB on Friday, as the Miami Marlins hired Kim Ng as their general manager — the first ever woman GM of a professional men’s sports team in any major North American League.
The good news is that at the going rate, we’ll still have over 30% of the games being played for the last week of the Big Ten season! (sarcasm)
The raw number of college football games played or postponed provides little value, so here's additional context.— Andy Wittry (@AndyWittry) November 13, 2020
We're seeing ~10% week-over-week drop-offs.
Week 9: 93.4% play percentage
Week 10: 83.0% play percentage
Week 11: best-case scenario of 74.5% play percentage pic.twitter.com/I8yL7tZliE
In case you’re one of those people who still think this virus only affects old people and is no worse than the flu, this thread is for you:
I was going to type some emotional tweet about how I’m thankful to be back on NFL coverage this week and I am but most of you don’t care and that’s fine.— Adam Amin (@adamamin) November 13, 2020
I’m 33 and healthy and I got COVID and it sucked. It sucked feeling like a truck hit me and having no life in my body.
To end things on a more positive note, I know this is now two days old, but I simply still cannot get over the ending to this #MACTION game on Wednesday night. Incredible.
Western Michigan misses the PAT to take the lead then recovers the onside kick and then fakes the spike for a TD to win the game! pic.twitter.com/8dQ3j5ATzx— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) November 12, 2020