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Buckeye Bits: Examining what the cancelation of non-conference games could mean for Ohio State

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

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl - Clemson v Ohio State Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Well, today was an absolute gut-punch of a day when it comes to college football news (even if it was long expected), but for some reason, people still prefer to believe conspiracy theories about what’s going on in the world rather than listen to legitimate experts whose only interest is to save lives and keep people from getting sick.

Well, if you won’t listen to doctors and scientists, please listen to Ryan Day. It’s looking less and less like we’re going to get college football this fall, but if wearing a mask even helps football have a 1 percent better fighting chance of coming back, can’t we all agree that it’s worth the temporary discomfort?


From around Land-Grant Holy Land...

Five future quarterbacks express interest in Ohio State

Tia Johnston, LGHL

Ryan Day is actively turning OSU into QBU, so any of these guys would be foolish not to put the Buckeyes high up on their lists.

What if Ohio State football players were ‘Hamilton’ characters?

Me, LGHL

Look, this article is really dumb, and I promise my feelings won’t be hurt if you don’t read it. But, if you’ve watched “Hamilton” on Disney+, you might enjoy it.

Ohio State’s trip to Oregon reportedly cancelled due to COVID-19

Brett Ludwiczak, LGHL

BLeez is laying down the hard truths in this article. While we all want to have football in some form or fashion in the fall, there is a legitimate argument that it is a super bad idea.

Get your limited edition Brutus ‘Countdown to Kickoff’ bobblehead (with adjustable dates)

Me, LGHL

With all of the terrible college football news going around, a little Brutus bobblehead-retail therapy wouldn’t be the worst way to make yourself feel better.


From around the gridiron...

Big Ten Statement on 2020-21 Fall Season

Big Ten Staff

About an hour after The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach reported that the Big Ten was planning to announce a conference-only football season, the league office made it official in saying that “the Big Ten Conference announced today that if the Conference is able to participate in fall sports (men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball) based on medical advice, it will move to Conference-only schedules in those sports”

In case you missed it, check out the eighth word in that quote above:if.” Despite what some were hoping this could mean, it does not look like this move indicates that things are full-steam ahead for the remaining portion of the college football season. In fact, I am more of the opinion that this is just the first domino to fall in a process that will eventually lead to all games being canceled, but I sincerely hope that I am wrong in that belief.

Shortly after the B1G’s announcement, the Pac-12 followed suit, and reports indicate that the ACC is close behind. The SEC, as childish as ever, feels like they are being forced into a decision and will discuss the measure shortly.

Another thing that I saw a lot of people cynically asking about on Twitter following the announcement is what this actually accomplishes. Yes, there are still a number of states — including Ohio — inside the B1G footprint dealing with spikes in COVID-19 cases, and with conference expansion, it’s not like the move will limit travel all that much.

However, “By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions,” the league office said, “the Conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic.”

Again, this reads to me like they are making things as easy as possible on themselves should an eventual cancelation of the rest of the season become necessary. If they have already given schools the heads up to start working out the logistics of canceling the non-conference games, those hurdles will hopefully already be cleared by the time the heavy lifting of dealing with a fall with no football comes to pass.

Another important reason for the move is to give the league maximum flexibility should something funky happen after games begin. Imagine a reshuffled, 10-game conference slate begins on Sept. 5. Then, after four weeks of games, there is a spike of cases in multiple B1G states, and the conference decides to pause things for a few weeks.

They could then take off nearly four weeks before resuming games on Oct. 24, and still have enough time to get the remaining six games in during the conventional calendar. Or, they cold take three single weeks off throughout the course of the season if need be.

Another interesting development that sprung up after the official announcement was from ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg. According to his sources, the B1G is apparently moving forward with plans to completely reshape schedules given the new reality of the situation.

If we just take the order that OSU’s B1G East games are already on the schedule and transfer them to the beginning of the season, that means the schedule will open with:

Sept. 5: Rutgers (originally Sept. 26)
Sept. 12: @ Michigan State (originally Oct. 17)
Sept. 19: @ Penn State (originally Oct. 24)
Sept. 26: Indiana (originally Nov. 7)
Oct. 3: @ Maryland (originally Nov. 14)
Oct. 10: TTUN (originally Nov. 28)

Of course, this is all speculation, and the B1G could rearrange everything and throw the original schedules completely out the window, but man, playing in East Lansing and Happy Valley back-to-back weeks that early in the season is rough. They were already scheduled to be on consecutive weekends, but they were supposed to happen after the Buckeyes already had five games under their belts. Given the unusual nature of what camp is going to have to be, I really worry about injuries happening more often than they would have in a regular scenario.

There is also this aspect of the non-conference cancelation. There are a ton of Group of Five schools that are absolutely screwed by the B1G, Pac-12, and ACC announcements (and FCS schools if the SEC decides to cancel non-conference games too). It is difficult to imagine how this is not devastating to those athletic departments for years and decades to come.

Ok, with all of that talk about depressing things, at least one thing was done correctly today:


From around the hardwood...

Chris Holtmann, Ohio State optimistic while preparing for unknown future

Adam Jardy, The Columbus Dispatch

In talking to Chris Holtmann before and after Wednesday’s announcement that Ohio State was temporarily suspending on-campus voluntary workouts, the men’s basketball coach said that it really doesn’t change much of their plans. The team will continue to be on campus, and will use OSU facilities when they are allowed through Aug. 5.

Then, players will return home until classes begin later that month. When the B1G made their announcement about fall sports moving to conference-only schedules, it also said, “decisions on sports not listed above will continue to be evaluated.”

As of now, Holtmann and company are planning to play their schedule as planned, but as we all know painfully well by now, a lot can happen between now and Nov. 11.


From everywhere else...

A pair of Buckeye s on that list.

Just another Heisman-winning, former-Buckeye quarterback doing good in Ohio.

Won’t be any fans at The Memorial later this month, but there will be a Tiger.


And now for something completely different...

Just make sure to wear your mask when you go to your friendly, neighborhood comic shop.