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Buckeye Bits: What the @%#$ is happening?

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

Well, in terms of college football content, we went from zero to a hundred in a matter of minutes when rumors about the Big Ten cancelling its 2020 football season began to make their rounds on Twitter Saturday morning. Since then, it’s been one hell of a roller coaster ride. Allegedly, the Big Ten is finally going to cough up an official announcement after the schools’ presidents meet Monday at 6 p.m. ET, but after about a dozen conflicting reports from anonymous “Big Ten sources,” I don’t know what to believe anymore.

So, just in case you missed it and you’re trying to figure out what the @$%& is happening in college football, I have summed up the last three days via Tweets for you. Keep scrolling to get yourself all caught up (that is until the next “Big Ten source/AD/president-that-shall-not-be-named” comes out with new information.)

First, from around Land-Grant Holy Land...

Play Like a Girl podcast: Will there be a college football season?

Tia Johnston and Meredith Hein, LGHL

In this week’s episode of Play Like a Girl, Meredith and I discuss the probability of having a full college football season, and if there is one, how it would work logistically. Now, keep in mind we recorded this on Thursday before all the Big Ten rumors started circulating, so you’ll have to excuse our optimism.

Column: If the season is canceled, we should be angry, but not just at the Big Ten, NCAA

Matt Tamanini, LGHL

If you’re not going to say it, fine. Matt will. Yes, the Big Ten and the NCAA had a long, long time to figure out a foolproof plan for the football season in the midst of COVID-19. And yes, they are to blame partially, but it’s also much bigger than that. Had our president, our governors and our country’s people taken this pandemic seriously (like if they just wore a piece of freaking cloth over their faces, for example) March through June, we’d be four weeks away from watching the Buckeyes play Bowling Green in the ‘Shoe on a beautiful 70-degree day.

Column: Who’s calling the shots in college football?

Meredith Hein, LGHL

But, none of the above happened, so here we are. It’s now athletes and coaches versus their own conference and school presidents. In Meredith’s column, she explains why we need a college football commissioner now more than ever.

Okay, here’s what’s been happening...

So, this more or less all started when a source told Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports that the possibility of cancelling the fall football season was alive and well within the Big Ten.

Shortly after that, the Big Ten released a statement in which they said and I quote “...until further notice, all institutions will remain in the first two days of the acclimatization period in football (i.e., helmets shall be the only piece of protective equipment student-athletes may wear) as we continue to transition prudently through preseason practice. All other fall sports will continue to work locally with team physicians and athletic trainers to adjust practices to the appropriate level of activity, as necessary, based on current medical protocols.”

So we were all like “PHEW! We’re still on!”

But THEN....

Unnamed sources (see what I mean) told the Detroit Free Press that Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren is in favor of moving the college football season to the spring.

Which brings us to the conspiracy theory portion of the weekend.

This guy... THIS GUY decided to tweet “BREAKING” news that Ohio State was going to join the Big 12 this season. And people believed him. Keep in mind he has 500 followers and calls himself an “Unaffiliated Sports Reporter” in his bio.

Then, a Power 5 athletic director texted Matt Hayes of Bleacher Report that, actually, the reason the Big Ten is considering cancelling its season is because they are “terrified” of players unionizing and thus ending the concept of amateurism in college football.

Which, for the record, is incredibly possible.

The next day, the rumors started picking up steam when ESPN reported that Power 5 commissioners held an “emergency meeting” on Sunday, in which the Big Ten announced they were ready to throw in the towel.

They couldn’t get any of the other conferences to follow suit, so they held a meeting of their own. Ohio State President-elect Kristina Johnson was in attendance.

Here’s where it really started to heat up. Parents, players and coaches from across the college football landscape took to Twitter with statements, pleas, and a new hashtag: #WeWantToPlay.

Ohio State running back Master Teague’s dad tweeted out the “Football Parents Association Official Statement,” in which they state that Ohio State has “set the standard” for college football in regards to safety and testing protocols.

Then, the P5 players unionized, and some of college football’s most prominent figures stated their case, making it very clear that they aren’t going down without a fight.

Former LSU quarterback Joey Burrow offered an incredibly good point.

However, so did former Ohio State running back Mike Weber...

Oh, and there’s been a lot of hypotheticals and proposed solutions circulating the Twitter-sphere. These are two of my personal favorites:

Name the time and place.

On Monday morning, Dan Dakich of 107.5 The Fan reported that he heard the Big Ten voted 12-2 to not have a season. In other words, the season was done. This tweet sparked most of the players’ and coaches’ statements listed above

If they really did vote against having a season on Sunday night, why on earth did they let players report to practice on Monday morning, where they’re just increasing their exposure of COVID-19 (if that’s really what the conference is so worried about)? And why are they taking a cold turkey approach? At the very least. can’t they just delay the season until they’ve come up with a plan they’re comfortable with?

More conspiracies! Supposedly the SEC wants to absorb any team that wants to play.

Which, as fun as that sounds, will not happen. However, many coaches were on board, including Ohio State WR coach Brian Hartline and Nebraska head coach Scott Frost.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the coaches have much of a say in this decision.

And you KNOW some hilarious memes were made during all of this chaos:

The Big Ten has become a laughing stock. As you will see here, when Big Ten officials began to backtrack.

Apparently, the “12-2” vote was taken out of context, and “no final decisions have been made,” despite the 40 other reports from “Big Ten sources” that say otherwise. So, they’re having another meeting tonight where they WILL make their final decision.

As our Gene Ross said in our Slack channel, it’s like they dabbled with the idea of cancelling the season, and then logged on to Twitter like:

Okay, I think you’re all caught up. Stay tuned for more “per source” reports after the conference meets! For the fourth time!