Ohio State's Sept. 12 showdown with Oregon was canceled months ago, but based on the current situation, it wasn't going to happen anyway.
There is a massive wildfire burning about 50 miles outside Eugene. At one point today that city had the worst air quality in the world.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) September 10, 2020
Pre-COVID, this Saturday was supposed to be the big Ohio State-Oregon game. Turns out, it likely would have been canceled regardless. pic.twitter.com/KpYXa7tWxq
I guess it's a good thing we ripped that bandaid off early.
Word of the Day: Veracious.
SLOPPY START. Bradley Roby will be Ohio State's lone representative in tonight's NFL season opener with teammate Gareon Conley on the IR to start the season, but before y'all get too excited about football's return, he's got a warning – it probably ain't gonna be pretty.
“I think that naturally there’s no preseason games, a lot of teams probably have been cautious to try to tackle their own players in camp around the league,” Roby added. “So, I think that these first couple of games, it’s going to be weird. It’s going to be preseason-like, but real stats. Everything is going to count, but it’s going to look a little bit sloppy on both sides of the ball for everyone.
“I just think so because we haven’t played against anyone else but our teammates, so I think early on those first three games is going to be a little bit sloppy and then everyone will kind of get in their groove as the season goes on.”
Roby expects the first hit players experience will wake them up, if they’re not ready for it.
“Those first couple of plays when you’re out there and you’re just running around, and I think it’s that first hit,” he said. “When you get that first hit and you get him on the ground and get up, I think that’s when it’s like, ‘OK, we’re out here. We’re playing. It’s for real, full speed.’ So, I think that’s it for everyone. When you get hit in the mouth, that’s when you wake up.”
While I appreciate the warning, the ugliest football game ever played is infinitely better than any football game that isn't.
Give me the 2018 Cheez-It Bowl on a loop, if you must. Just give me football.
“OCTOBER ISN'T OUT OF THE QUESTION.” This entire Big Ten debacle has been immensely shitty all around – and if you think following along is bad, imagine the constant dick punch of having to write about it every day.
That said, if you would have told me a month ago when the Big Ten initially canceled the season that a late October start would still be possible at this point, I'd gladly take it, no questions asked.
I mean, shit – three weeks ago Kevin Warren issued a statement declaring that the postponement was final and would not be revisited. Today, we're eagerly awaiting a revisited decision with October (even if it is late October) still on the table.
Daily, reliable testing is the "game-changer," as a B1G source told me this week. B1G has been working on options. Once that's in place, presidents/chancellors likely more comfortable with a return. Goal is safe, uninterrupted season. Leagues w/o daily testing facing disruptions.— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) September 9, 2020
All things considered, this is better than where I thought we'd be.
Now, my only problem with late October is that if it's too late to make Ohio State eligible for the College Football Playoff, you may as well play in March for all I care. However, if the Big Ten really does get rolling, I'd bet big money the playoff would delay to accommodate.
Imagine this scenario: #B1G starts Oct. 24 or Oct. 31 without interruptions. Ohio St crushes every opponent. SEC/ACC/Big12 have to push back end of season a few weeks. Would they really dig in to keep Ohio State out of CFP when Buckeyes clearly a top-4 team? Avoids * for champ.— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) September 9, 2020
More than that, money talks. And you can bet your ass that after all this fight, folks in Buckeyland would sooner pull off their own fingernails with a pliers before missing Ohio State in a playoff game.
STICKING TO THE PLAN. As the Big Ten seems to be downright refusing to play football this fall, the conference seems to have a really bizarre level of confidence in the basketball season going forward without a hitch.
They're even insisting on non-conference games!
The Big Ten remains intent on planning to play non-conference games during the 20-21 college basketball season, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.
While circumstances can change daily due to COVID-19, the league is currently operating with a plan in place to play games outside of its conference in November and December.
Several college basketball industry sources felt during the past month that the Big Ten was considering playing a 26-game, double round-robin type format during the upcoming year for safety reasons, but that idea “has cooled off” in recent weeks, according to two separate sources.
So the Big Ten is uneasy about Ohio State and Michigan playing football in an open-air stadium but is going to make sure it's possible for the Buckeyes to host Niagra inside at roughly the same date? Neat.
KEYSHAWN TO POLAND. Plant another Buckeye flag in Europe – Keyshawn Woods is heading to Poland.
Here's hoping they signed postseason Keyshawn Woods – the cold-blooded killer who averaged almost 16 points per game – and not regular season Keyshawn Woods, who averaged 7.1.
I'll never understand how the dude magically turned into a rainmaker for the last four games of his Ohio State career, but it was fun as hell. I'm sure there's an alternate reality where his number is hanging in the rafters of the Schott and part of me is sad that we're not living in it.
SONG OF THE DAY. "Story of My Life" by One Direction.
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