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Buckeye Bits: Despite COVID-19 concerns, national title game still on as scheduled

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

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Allstate Sugar Bowl Semifinal Game - Ohio State v Clemson Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It has now been a whole four days since Ohio State absolutely destroyed Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, and I, for one, have still not come down from the high. The Buckeyes entire season was leading up to that game, and they got it done in the most emphatic way possible. Now Ryan Day must set his sights on the national title game against Alabama — a team many predicted to win it all right from the jump, including myself.

Imagine in August picturing the Buckeyes to end up in this spot. From having no season at all just a few short months ago to a spot in the National Championship less than a week away. Regardless of how things end, Ohio State fans should be more than pleased with how the season has gone in the face of a pandemic and all the adversity it has brought with it. Obviously, we all hope the ultimate result is another trophy in the case come Monday night.

From around Land-Grant Holy Land...

From around the gridiron...

Rumors began circulating on social media on Monday night that Ohio State is dealing with another COVID-19 outbreak. Leaving specific players’ names out of it, as nothing has been confirmed by the school thus far, the problem area seems to be along the defensive line. As of right now, the situation is not bad enough that it would force the national title game to be postponed.

However, that is certainly not out of the question, at least according to a report from AL.com. While the specifics are not given, the worry is that Ohio State could potentially be without a position group due to testing and contact tracing protocols. Even if the game were to be postponed to the make-up date of Jan. 18, the Big Ten’s current 17-day rule would likely not allow for OSU to get those players back anyway.

While all of this is mostly speculation, Ohio State does continue to practice and prepare to play for the originally-scheduled kickoff on Monday. There is clearly at the very least a small outbreak in Columbus, but the Buckeyes are still shooting for playing the game on Jan. 11.

Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith also confirmed that the school is still aiming to play the game as scheduled on Monday.

In the age of COVID, we can only work with the information we have at the time, so with that being said we here at LGHL are going to continue moving forward assuming the title game will take place on Monday until we hear otherwise.

Which brings us to a very apropos piece from Lettermen Row about unsung heroes stepping up big for Ohio State. Guys like Matthew Jones, Lathan Ransom and Miyan Williams all made big plays for the Buckeyes against Clemson, and Day will need similar efforts from all over the place against Alabama — especially if more players are forced to miss the game.

People really like to watch Ohio State play football.

Ryan Day knows bringing home the national title this season after all the team has been through would mean that much more. From nothing to the ultimate reward.

Former Ohio State wide receiver Mookie Cooper has transferred closer to home, officially joining the Missouri Tigers. We wish him the best at his new landing spot.

That J.K. Dobbins fella is pretty darn good at the whole football thing.

Now THIS is the kind of reporting from sources that I can get behind!

I didn’t think anyone with the last name Saban would provide any bulletin board material for the Buckeyes after what happened with Dabo Swinney, but alas. Alabama should probably try to avoid Ohio State’s backup QBs after what happened last time they faced one.

From around the hardwood...

Ohio State’s game on Wednesday against Penn State has been postponed. The news comes as a result of positive COVID-19 tests in the Nittany Lions’ program.

Why can’t we have nice things?

From everywhere else...

Ohio State isn’t the only Ohio-based football team having COVID issues.

Unsurprisingly, the Grammys have been postponed. They have moved the awards show to March, although no official date has been chosen at this time.

Poor Bill. Hopefully his extended stay in Florida pays off!