This pandemic has really thrown the idea of time out the window, kicked it down the street, and then set it on fire. All of this to say — how the heck is it already September? It feels like just yesterday we were all gearing up for the NCAA Tournament, and now suddenly we are on fall’s doorstep.
It’s a pretty sad week out here in Buckeye Nation, to be honest with you. So much about it should be centered around Ohio State football. The team’s 2019 season opener was exactly a year from yesterday. Under their original schedule, the Buckeyes would've kicked off the 2020 campaign against Bowling Green this Saturday, and in the altered conference-only schedule the season would have began this Thursday against Illinois.
There have been some recent updates on the Big Ten working toward getting football back up and running as soon as possible, but nothing all too promising appears to be happening in the immediate future. All we can really do now is sit and wait for the university presidents to figure out what comes next. Until then, let’s get to today’s headlines.
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
Ohio State tight end target set to announce today
(Caleb Houser, LGHL)
Ryan Day and his staff entered the 2022 class with big needs at both linebacker and tight end. Well, we still aren't even done with the 2021 class, and already the Buckeyes have hauled in a trio of highly-touted LBs in the next cycle, and appear to be on the cusp of securing their first TE commitment. Bennett Christian is set to announce his school at 8 p.m. later tonight, choosing between Ohio State and Tennessee.
There will be a 2020 Ohio State Football season at Land-Grant Holy Land
(George Eisner, LGHL)
Listen, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding college football this fall. We here at LGHL are committed to bringing you Ohio State games no matter what happens in the real world, which is why we will still be covering the Buckeyes — virtually! George has recreated Ohio State’s original 2020 schedule (with some date changes) on NCAA 14, and we will be streaming a game each Saturday on the new LGHL Twitch account. Be sure to give us a follow over there, and be on the lookout for the first game this weekend.
From around the gridiron...
Today has been a whirlwind of information regarding the potential return of Big Ten football. As has been the case throughout this whole fiasco, everyone on Twitter loves to claim they have “sources,” and unless those sources are the Big Ten university presidents themselves — who are currently the only people with the power to resurrect the football season — then everything else is moot.
It all started today when the President of the United States tweeted that he had a “productive conversation” with B1G commissioner Kevin Warren. The White House has apparently offered additional testing resources to assist the conference in making a return. He even went as far as to claim that things are, “on the one yard line.”
Had a very productive conversation with Kevin Warren, Commissioner of the Big Ten Conference, about immediately starting up Big Ten football. Would be good (great!) for everyone - Players, Fans, Country. On the one yard line!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 1, 2020
While I'm sure the President cares immensely for Big Ten football, and this is in no way a posturing stunt to secure critical voters in a region that contains swing states Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, it doesn’t appear things are as close as POTUS may think...
Big Ten sources didn’t just deny President Trump’s claim that the league returning "immediately" was at the “1-yard-line,” they laughed at it. A column on the reality of the Big Ten's restart, which is now officially and indelibly politicized. https://t.co/nfeaNwW7W8— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) September 1, 2020
Then we got our latest dose of “sources,” as Dan Patrick claimed the Big Ten is on the verge of returning on Oct. 10, as long as they can pass updated safety measures and procedures.
To which we then received...
Reached via text this afternoon, #Huskers AD Bill Moos said of the Oct. 10 Big Ten start date rumor: "There's nothing to that."— Parker Gabriel (@HuskerExtraPG) September 1, 2020
Moos is part of a subcommittee that is looking into potential scheduling models as part of the league's return to competition group.
Finally, we got to hear from somebody with an actual say in the matter — newly appointed Ohio State president Kristina Johnson. One of three Big Ten presidents to vote against the postponement of the season, Dr. Johnson says she does see a path that could lead to football this fall.
“We want to make sure our athletes get a shot because they’ve worked really hard and they deserve a shot to play,” Dr. Johnson said. “At the same time, we want to make sure that they’re safe, so we’re doing our work, we’ll come back and I’m very hopeful that we’ll be playing football this fall.”
Dr. Johnson did clarify, however, that the “fall” season lasts until Dec. 20, and so there is still no timetable for a decision right now. She also echoed the importance for everyone to continue wearing masks and social distancing if we have any chance of moving forward.
In the end, Bill summed up the day quite nicely. If you know, you know.
I didn’t even know Dan Patrick owned a yacht— billlandis25 (@BillLandis25) September 1, 2020
Moving on to non-Big Ten football season news, former Ohio State defensive tackle Taylor Decker got PAID on Tuesday. The Detroit Lions starting tackle has agreed to terms on a new six-year, $85 million contract. The deed includes $37.5 million fully guaranteed.
Taylor Decker has agreed to terms with the @Lions (6yr 85M / 37.5M Fully Guaranteed) @__taylordecker @FeinsodJonathan @64AMDG #AMDGSports pic.twitter.com/YObRVpXf5H— AMDG Sports (@SportsAmdg) September 1, 2020
I’m sure Ryan Day won’t bring this up on the recruiting trail at all.
Some recent NFL contract extensions signed by members of the 2014 Buckeyes:— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) September 1, 2020
Taylor Decker: 6 years, $85 million
Ezekiel Elliott: 6 years, $90 million
Michael Thomas: 5 years, $96.2 million
Joey Bosa: 5 years, $135 million
From around the hardwood...
There still seems to be a very good chance that college basketball arrives on time this winter, albeit likely in some form of bubble. That means we will get to see another year of sharpshooter Duane Washington Jr., who has made the second-most three-pointers in his first two seasons of any Ohio State player in program history, behind only Jon Diebler.
The last guy who shot the ball like @dwizthekid4 turned out pretty good...#Team122 #GoBuckeyes pic.twitter.com/IGcgAbVV7H— Ohio State Hoops (@OhioStateHoops) September 1, 2020
From everywhere else...
We are so owned, guys. Look at all of us idiots staying healthy during a global pandemic.
Owning the Big Ten by instructing citizens to follow the responsible public health example of the Big Ten. https://t.co/GcfnMMVRRY— Matt Hinton (@MattRHinton) September 1, 2020
It’s kinda messed up that Hogwarts hasn’t created an anti-COVID spell, tbh.
Hogwarts confirms in person classes this fall. https://t.co/Y5be6nWjcH— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) September 1, 2020
Our good friend Matt is pretty smart. You should probably follow him.
Iif the White House has the ability to start giving out more rapid testing supplies, I can think of a few other places that probably ought to be ahead of Purdue Football on the ol' priority list.— Matt Brown (@MattBrownEP) September 1, 2020
Was today’s madness not enough for you? Now you can create your own adventure!
Y'all wanna play mad libs? pic.twitter.com/WYqtWyuZtc— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) September 1, 2020