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Buckeye Bits: All systems go for national title game

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

CFP Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl - Clemson v Ohio State Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

You've made it to the end of the week, which means we are now just three days away from the national title game. After rumors cropped up earlier in the week about potential postponement over some positive COVID-19 cases at Ohio State, it appears we are still on track for everything to go on as scheduled on Monday night — but we will get to that a bit later.

The Buckeyes are set to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in Miami for what would be one of the most unlikely championships the program has ever seen. First it looked as though there would be no Ohio State football season at all, and then once they got back on the field it didn’t always seem like they were quite the caliber of team who could make it this far. However, they've proved all of the doubters wrong, and through all of the adversity and following a complete beatdown of the Clemson Tigers, they will now compete for the sport’s ultimate trophy.

Let’s kick off the weekend with all of Friday’s headlines.

From around Land-Grant Holy Land...

From around the gridiron...

Obviously the big story everyone on the beat has been following this week is the potential COVID-19 outbreak at Ohio State. While nothing has been confirmed by the school in terms of new cases, there have been rumors circulating around social media that Monday night’s game was in jeopardy as the result of the virus. There is still a very good chance we will see a few Buckeyes missing for the national title game, but the game will take place as scheduled.

Which is why you don't listen to folks like Dan Patrick, who has been wrong at seemingly every turn this season as he tries to be first reporting the news instead of any indulging in any sort of actual fact checking or accuracy. There is simply no way Ohio State is down 20 scholarship players, as the resulting contract tracing would likely wipe out nearly the entire team. If an outbreak of that scale happened in Columbus, we would have seen the facility shut down to stop the spread before it got worse — which we did not remotely see as the team practiced every day this week.

DP is just Sir Yacht with a bigger platform these days.

Whether it be at full strength or not, Ohio State will not have the luxury of a pretty decent talent gap like they had over Clemson — at least on paper. According to the 247Spots rankings, these two teams are very similar in makeup, and are two of the most talented teams in the country (shocker).

Congratulations to former Ohio State center Corey Linsley, who has first-team AP All-Pro honors for the first time in his NFL career. Former Buckeye defensive lineman Cam Heyward was named to the second team.

While none of the same players remain on either roster, the jersey matchup will look identical to the Ohio State-Alabama semifinal matchup in 2014, as the Buckeyes will once again don their white jerseys with the gray sleeves — their best jerseys, imo. It is the same ones they wore against Clemson in this year’s Sugar Bowl as well.

All aboard the Paris Johnson Jr. hype train. After watching him pancake a Clemson defender while playing away from his natural position for a few snaps last time out, I am fully in on the five-star freshman. Josh Myers even went as far as to say he would be shocked if Johnson doesn’t win the Outland Trophy before his Ohio State career is over.

An old friend has found his way to Happy Valley. We’ll see how it plays out for them.

What has been the key to Trey Sermon’s late-season resurgence? The answer may be his offseason trainer/professional hype man Rischad Whitfield.

Party time in Columbus! Give that man a lifetime deal!

From around the hardwood...

ICYMI yesterday, CJ Walker will be out for an indefinite period of time with torn ligaments in his right hand. Ohio State will need guys like Jimmy Sotos and eventually Meechie Johnson to fill in during his absence.

Looking forward to a good, clean matchup in Piscataway tomorrow afternoon.

From everywhere else...

There will be a different type of shot going down at the Schott in the near future.

Sorry Indians fans, but congrats to all my fellow Mets fans.

Shoutout to RJ Young getting a gig at Fox Sports. If you haven’t seen any of his content to this point, I would highly recommend checking him out. He has done a fantastic job covering college football on multiple platforms, and it’s great to see his hard work pay off!

Even on the brink of the national title game, it is never a bad time for Ohio State to get their digs in at Michigan. Bravo, social media team.