COVID-19 deals Buckeyes their first setback
Published 11:02 pm Friday, November 27, 2020
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — No. 3 Ohio State’s game at Illinois on Saturday has been canceled because the Buckeyes have had a spike of COVID-19 cases this week.
The cancellation Friday came about seven hours after Ohio State announced coach Ryan Day had tested positive and wouldn’t travel with the team to Champaign, Illinois.
The team did not fly to Illinois as scheduled Friday night so additional COVID-19 testing could be conducted in Columbus, Ohio. After returning additional positive tests, the game was called.
Ohio State did not reveal how many members of the program had tested positive as has been the school’s policy all year.
This is the second game of the Big Ten season Ohio State has had canceled, putting the Buckeyes in a precarious position to compete for a Big Ten and national title. The Buckeyes were fourth in the first College Football Playoff rankings released earlier this week.
Big Ten rules require teams to play at least six game in this abbreviated season to be eligible to play in the conference championship game. The minimum could drop if the average number of games played by all Big Ten teams falls below six.
Ohio State (4-0) has only two game remaining on its regular-season schedule: at Michigan State on Dec. 5 and home against Michigan on Dec. 12. The Big Ten championship game is Dec. 19.