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.
From @mzenitz and me, per sources: There are COVID-19 issues at Ohio State that have led to discussions about possibly having to push back the national title game to a later date https://t.co/8F7GiP7b7o— John Talty (@JTalty) January 5, 2021
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.
Again, it’s Tuesday, so nothing is guaranteed during a pandemic. But Ohio State has practiced the last two days to be ready to play on Monday, and it simply wouldn’t be bringing players to the facility if the numbers were at an unsafe level.— Austin Ward (@AWardSports) January 5, 2021
Sources: As of right now, Ohio State planning on playing in the title game as scheduled on Jan. 11. All systems are go for that. There's been COVID-19 issues at OSU, but not enough to postpone the game. This is obviously COVID-19 times, and things can change.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 5, 2021
Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith also confirmed that the school is still aiming to play the game as scheduled on Monday.
From Ohio State AD Gene Smith: "We continue to follow the same protocols as we have all season. We plan to play January 11th."— Bill Landis (@BillLandis25) January 5, 2021
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.
19.1 million people, the most of any non-NFL sporting event since last year's national championship game, watched Ohio State's Sugar Bowl win over Clemson on Friday night: https://t.co/PEH1WaiWGZ— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) January 5, 2021
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.
Let's say @OhioStateFB hoists the CFP Monday night.— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) January 5, 2021
What would it mean to the team?
"I think it will be probably one of the greatest stories in the history of college football, at least one of the more amazing stories."@ryandaytime explains why ⤵️. pic.twitter.com/WdROy7rbvH
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.
J.K. Dobbins led all NFL running backs in yards per carry this year.— Ryan Mink (@ryanmink) January 5, 2021
J.K. Dobbins: 6.0
Nick Chubb: 5.6
Aaron Jones: 5.5
Derrick Henry: 5.4
Lamar Jackson led everybody with 6.3 yards per carry.
Now THIS is the kind of reporting from sources that I can get behind!
Re: the Ohio State football program, multiple sources are confirming to me that the Buckeyes did indeed kick the unrelenting shit out of Clemson earlier this week— Ramzy Nasrallah (@ramzy) January 5, 2021
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?
BREAKING: The #Buckeyes game against Penn State for Wednesday night has been postponed.— Adam Jardy (@AdamJardy) January 5, 2021
From everywhere else...
Ohio State isn’t the only Ohio-based football team having COVID issues.
#Browns Kevin Stefanski & 2 members of the coaching staff, 2 players tested positive for COVID-19 and Mike Priefer is the acting head coach— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) January 5, 2021
Unsurprisingly, the Grammys have been postponed. They have moved the awards show to March, although no official date has been chosen at this time.
Sources say a combination of health and travel concerns — not least the spike in COVID-19 cases in the show’s planned location of Los Angeles — led the Recording Academy and its network partner CBS to decide to postpone the #Grammys. https://t.co/5GJ49VuvTh— Variety (@Variety) January 5, 2021
Poor Bill. Hopefully his extended stay in Florida pays off!