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Buckeye Bits: Big Ten waives six-game minimum rule, Ohio State to face Northwestern in conference title game

All of the latest Ohio State news from around the beat and beyond.

Ohio State v Northwestern Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Things were going so good, weren’t they? The Big Ten decided they would let it’s schools play football, Justin Fields was about as perfect as you can get (aside from the fluke that was the Indiana game), Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave could not be stopped, Haskell Garrett was exceeding everyone’s expectations after getting shot in the face a few months ago, Michigan and Penn State were each racing to see who could be the worst football program in the conference. I mean, all things considered, especially after all that Big Ten drama in the preseason, and despite a couple games getting canceled, these last few months have been alright— hell, they’ve actually been pretty fun— for Ohio State.

Until now! When all of our rivalry week anticipation and traditions came to a screeching halt after Michigan decided it was in no position to play football this Saturday due to their COVID-19 situation.

While The Greatest Rivalry in All of Sports being canceled is a huge bummer, the real problem is the fact that Ohio State fell victim to the Big Ten’s nonsensical rule that teams who play less than six games are not eligible to play in the conference championship.

Well, today we found out that the ones who made the nonsensical rule...agrees that it’s nonsensical.

First reported by Yahoo’s Pete Thamel, the Big Ten has officially waived its six-game eligibility requirement, meaning the 5-0 Buckeyes, who missed games between Maryland, Illinois and Michigan, are headed to Indy on Dec. 19 to take on the Northwestern Wildcats for the title.

“Because Ohio State is undefeated and already has a head-to-head win over one-loss Indiana, and every other team in the Big Ten East has lost at least two games, the Buckeyes will represent the East division in the conference title game for the fourth year in a row even if they don’t play this weekend or lose to a yet-to-be-scheduled opponent,” writes Dan Hope of Eleven Warriors.

“...As the Big Ten’s only remaining College Football Playoff contender, though, Ohio State has more to gain by playing in the conference championship game than anyone else. Had the Buckeyes been left out, the conference championship game would have been without the team widely considered to be conference’s best, all the while punishing Ohio State for failing to meet an arbitrary benchmark – albeit one that had been in place all season – while being the only team in the conference to have two separate games canceled by its opponents.”

That’s that on that. However, our own Matt Tamanini brought up a good point in his column last week saying that the Big Ten should have to reap what they sow. You made a shitty rule, you should have to suffer the consequences. I definitely see both sides. (Most people do not, according to the warzone that is my Twitter feed)

To make things even more complicated (or does it make it less complicated? I can’t keep up), another rivalry game was canceled in the Big Ten.

Like I said, if you need a mental health break, take the night off from Twitter. There’s a whole lot of bad takes and opinions floating around, one of the worst being this one from Peter Burns.

And I know the end game here is to get to the College Football Playoff (and obviously the championship) but like... in the grand scheme of things, is that really what we want? Sure, we’ve seen some major bright spots on this Buckeye team, but we’ve also seen a whole lot of concerns— especially in areas that Alabama’s receivers and Trevor Lawrence will walk all over.

In other news, Ryan Day felt like he let people down when he tested positive for COVID-19. (He didn’t, of course, but this is such a Ryan-Day thing to say, no?)

Much deserved for the best recruiter/wide receiver coach in the country.

So what you’re saying is....this is good?

Can someone tell me what the Jaguars’ O-line is like? If Fields has a Joe Burrow-esque experience I’m going to lose my ever-loving mind.

As we said several months ago, Ohio State is lucky to have gotten a guy like Seth Towns.

This is important.