Happy Thursday, everyone. I was lucky enough to be headed south just ahead of this storm that has pounded the entire northeast of the country, but hopefully those of you stuck in the cold are enjoying your snow day! At the very least, campus sure does look pretty this time of year.
Campus, but make it a snow globe. ❄️— Ohio State (@OhioState) December 17, 2020
: @phantomphotos_ (IG) pic.twitter.com/DiaM7UFBsQ
It has been a busy week in Ohio State land, with the Buckeyes signing nearly their entire 2021 recruiting class just over 24 hours ago and now just a couple days away from taking on Northwestern in the Big Ten title game. Let’s hope right into all of today’s headlines.
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
Listen to this...
From around the gridiron...
Obviously we should start by addressing the elephant in the room. There have been rumors swirling around social media that Ohio State is dealing with a small COVID-19 outbreak. A few sources have alluded that potentially one prominent starter has tested positive, but Justin Fields is not that starter and that the overall outbreak is less than 10 people. As of right now, the Big Ten Championship Game does not appear to be in any danger.
Ohio State confirms no change in status for team or @bigten title game. Scheduled to practice this afternoon & fly to Indy Friday evening. @ryandaytime on @971thefan “Physically we’re OK...mentally it’s been a long road. We hope to play our best football.” @TheFeverABC6— Clay Hall (@claywsyx6) December 17, 2020
Of course, the bigger concern is what this means for Ohio State’s College Football Playoff game should they make the final field of four — which they would with a victory over the Wildcats. Given the Big Ten’s current 21-day policy, any players who test positive this week would also be forced to sit out for the Buckeyes’ first round game in the CFP. Luckily, it appears as though Gene Smith is working with the conference to try and get that rule changed, which shouldn't be too hard given the new CDC guidelines only call for a 7-10 day quarantine.
"The teams participating in the playoff will continue to follow the established protocols set by their conference for testing and eligibility through the championship," a CFP spokesman told The Blade.— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) December 17, 2020
The Big Ten's 21-day rule would knock Ohio State players out of the semifinal.
Ryan Day said he and Gene Smith have had “quick conversations” about the Big Ten's 21-day rule and said Smith is in discussions about whether that rule could be changed. Right now Day is focused on trying to win Saturday's Big Ten Championship Game, then they'll worry about that.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) December 17, 2020
Good news though - new game trailer!
Ryan Day spoke to the media today during his usual radio show spot, and discussed a little bit about the team’s upcoming matchup against Northwestern as well as the signing of the 2021 class. The Ohio State head coach is really excited about five-star defensive end Jack Sawyer, as I’m sure Larry Johnson is as well.
Day said 5-star Jack Sawyer was a guy the #Buckeyes identified really early on that they needed to get along with Zach Harrison and Paris Johnson. He said that was due to the talent and impact he has on other recruits.— Patrick Murphy (@_Pat_Murphy) December 17, 2020
"I think we're getting a leader walking in the door."
With all due respect to Cardale Jones, Ryan Day thinks you should also play school.
Ryan Day with a public service announcement to students everywhere, in reference to more Ohio State football players graduating this past weekend: “Going to class is cool, and getting your degree matters.”— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) December 17, 2020
Day loved what he saw from Justin Fields as he watched the MSU game from his couch.
Day said Justin Fields wasn't going to be denied against Michigan State. He said if you can dominate like that and execute at a high level, that's how you win games.— Patrick Murphy (@_Pat_Murphy) December 17, 2020
The Ohio State head coach feels the same way we all do about this whole season.
Ryan Day acknowledges that it “wears us out” to have to constantly be worried about COVID-19 and the impact it can have on the team.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) December 17, 2020
“To say it hasn't been a long season would not be true. It has.”
At least the guys are still having fun amid everything else going on in the world.
Ryan Day said Haskell Garrett ran outside, made a snowball and threw it at Day during practice yesterday. I'm assuming because the Big Ten coaches voted Garrett third-team All-Big Ten, and Day was the coach in closest proximity.— Bill Landis (@BillLandis25) December 17, 2020
In other news, punter Drue Chrisman has been named to the All-Big Ten second team.
Larry Fitzgerald: friend of the program.
Larry Fitzgerald to Jabrill Peppers “Since Ohio St whooped your ass I been waiting for this” pic.twitter.com/xD24YVpyk6— Roadie on the Horn Podcast (@ROTHPodcast) December 17, 2020
This is a very well-deserved honor. Indiana has been a really fun story to watch this year, and Tom Allen has done a tremendous job getting his guys to full buy in.
Tom Allen has been named the Big Ten's Coach of the Year.— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) December 17, 2020
Things have certainly gone better in the Big Ten ahead of this week. I guess this is what happens when you make an inflexible schedule and set yourself up for failure @ Kevin Warren.
Three out of the seven scheduled Big Ten games for this weekend have now been canceled, which is the most in any week this season. https://t.co/1fUgweuYVi— Joey Kaufman (@joeyrkaufman) December 17, 2020
Justin Fields is up for all of the awards.
. @justnfields is finalist for the Manning Award, it was announced today, while the @OhioStateFB QB already was named semifinalist for the Maxwell and Davey O'Brien awards, and one of 5 finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.— Tim May (@TIM_MAYsports) December 17, 2020
From everywhere else...
Ohio State’s mens hockey team is set to open up a series against Arizona State this afternoon. The Buckeyes are currently ranked No. 18 in the country at 3-5-0.
This is pretty darn cool.
The weather isn’t the only thing thats icy this week.
Prayers up for Scott Van Pelt, one of the absolute best in the business. Wishing him a speedy recovery and hope he can get back to work soon so we can get all our bad beats.
Won’t be doing shows for a bit after a positive Covid-19 test. Thankfully, no fever & I feel fine. Just can’t smell or taste anything which was my clue to go get a test.— Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) December 17, 2020
So, I will hunker down and hopefully can be back at it before too long.