As I write this at 4:30 p.m. ET on a Wednesday, the Ravens and Steelers are playing a live game of football and the Ohio State men’s basketball team is about to tip off at 5:00 p.m. in a volleyball arena. But honestly, nothing surprises me anymore. I have a whole lot to tell you today, so let’s jump in.
From around LGHL...
From around college football...
Pull up a chair and grab a drink, friend. We have a lot to go over today. Starting with a flaming hot take that Kirk Herbstreit made on Tuesday night after the College Football Playoff Top 25 was revealed on ESPN. (Ohio State remained at No. 4 behind Alabama, Notre Dame and Clemson, respectively).
“I still think Michigan waves the white flag, potentially avoids playing Ohio State next week, and then they’ll potentially get a game on the 19th,” Herbstreit said. “Is that fair, David (Pollack)? Michigan could opt out, basically, of that game, and keep Ohio State out of six games to qualify for the Big Ten Championship. That doesn’t make sense to me.”
Kirk Herbstreit dares Michigan not to duck Ohio State next week pic.twitter.com/K608RMgpiv— Ryan Glasspiegel (@sportsrapport) December 2, 2020
Like I said, that is...quite the claim, especially when Michigan is dealing with increasing numbers of positive COVID-19 tests. As you can imagine, people were not happy, which led to Herbstreit issuing an apology on his Twitter account.
“I had no business at all saying that, I have no evidence of that. It was completely unfair to the University of Michigan, to Jim Harbaugh, to his players and coaches, and I just wanted to apologize,” Herbstreit said. “We all go through some ups and downs, many downs for a lot of people during this COVID crisis that we’re all in. And for me, in college football, I really struggle with where we are. Players opting out, teams canceling games, it just seems like it’s a downward spiral. I think, typically I try to remain positive and upbeat, and I think sometimes we all have our breaking points and I think right now, at Week 14 with so much negativity surrounding the sport, I think that’s sometime a pressure point for me.”
Fast-forward to Wednesday afternoon, and Michigan’s COVID situation has indeed escalated, causing them to cancel Saturday’s game against Maryland.
Michigan AD Warde Manuel: "We have seen an increase in the number of student-athletes unavailable to compete due to positive tests and associated contact tracing due to our most recent antigen and PCR testing results."— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) December 2, 2020
If Michigan’s positive tests continue to rise or, at the very least, don’t diminish by Monday, they will almost definitely cancel The Game. And if that happens, a lot of bozos are going to come out of the woodwork making very similar claims to Herbstreit’s. But let’s be real here...
Michigan has never successfully kept Ohio State out of Indianapolis so why should I believe they are attempting to do so now?— Anthony Broome (@anthonytbroome) December 2, 2020
In all seriousness, I hope everyone within the Michigan organization gets well ASAP. We like to poke fun and okay fine flat out harass Michigan fans here at LGHL, but we wouldn’t wish COVID-19 on our worst enemy (which happens to be Michigan).
So now that another game on Ohio State’s schedule is on the line, it’s time to seriously consider some scheduling alternatives. If the Michigan game is canceled, under the conference’s dumb preseason rules, Ohio State will not have played enough games to be eligible to play in the B1G championship. Not playing in a conference championship does not help the Buckeyes’ CFP case, and it is absolutely in the Big Ten’s best interest that Ohio State makes it to the playoff, and Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez agrees.
Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez, who chaired the Big Ten’s return-to-play task force, had interesting comments today about Big Ten possibly having to reconsider its requirements for championship (with OSU in mind) From a conversation w The Detroit News today.... pic.twitter.com/CIKEDxyELI— angelique (@chengelis) December 2, 2020
Of course, Wisconsin would also benefit from the elimination of the minimum game requirement. If the Badgers win out and Northwestern loses again, they would find themselves in the conference championship as well.
I do really have a hard time imagining a world where Northwestern and a quarterback-less Indiana is playing for the conference title while Justin Freaking Fields sits at home.
Would imagine Big Ten will set an early deadline next week for status of Ohio State-Michigan game. If Michigan can't play, alter the schedule -- similar to what ACC is doing -- and have an opponent for Buckeyes. Can't imagine they would just let their playoff contender languish. https://t.co/ijA8t3f5zV— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) December 2, 2020
Just in case you thought the cancelation of Ohio State/Michigan wouldn’t be a big deal...
Ohio State and Michigan have played every season since 1918, through pandemics, a World War and social unrest.— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) December 2, 2020
The only alteration in the past 102 years was a one-week postponement, in 1963, after President John F. Kennedy's assassination.
And hey, if all else fails...
A remake of The Longest Yard, but with Ohio State fans fielding a team to face the Buckeyes to get them their sixth Big Ten game.— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) December 2, 2020
In the mean time...it’s Michigan State week people!! Time to zone in. Here’s what the Spartans had to say about their preparation for Saturday.
There are challenges beyond the football field for #MichiganState this week as the #Spartans prepare for the #Buckeyes.— Bucknuts (@Bucknuts247) December 2, 2020
Everything Mel Tucker, Rocky Lombardi and Xavier Henderson said about #OhioState this week (FREE)https://t.co/xpFZwdg2GG pic.twitter.com/jzlu0turEO
On this date...
A true legend.