COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio State’s game with Michigan has been canceled.
Michigan announced the cancellation on Tuesday afternoon. In a statement, Michigan athletic department officials cited an “increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases and student-athletes in quarantine over the past week. … The decision was made after conversations with medical experts, health department officials and university administration.”
The teams have met every year since 1918.
Ohio State stands at 5-0, and under the current scenario, needed to play six games to be eligible for the Big Ten championship game Dec. 19 in Indianapolis. It is not yet know if the conference will change the eligibility rules. The conference also has the option of finding an alternate opponent for the Buckeyes on Saturday.
A statement from the conference about the cancellation said it will “collaborate with member institution stakeholders to determine Big Ten Football Championship Game participation requirements as well as tiebreakers.”
The Buckeyes were ranked fourth in last week’s College Football Playoff rankings, with the latest rankings to be released Tuesday night. It is not necessary for the Buckeyes to play in or win their conference championship to be selected for the four-team playoff.
Michigan announced the cancellation shortly after Ohio State coach Ryan Day spoke to reporters about the game. The interview session, held over Zoom, was still underway when the news broke. After several minutes, a team spokesperson came on and said that Day was discussing the news with his players.
Neither Day nor athletic director Gene Smith had an immediate comment.
“We will continue to work with the Big Ten conference to understand what our next steps are going forward,” the spokesperson said.
Here is Michigan’s statement on the game’s cancellation: