'If you can't beat 'em': ESPN CFB crew discusses possibility of Michigan eliminating OSU from B1G CG with cancellation
The latest College Football Playoff Rankings are out and there’s no shortage of controversy, especially when it comes to the ranking of Ohio State.
The Committee put the Buckeyes at No. 4 despite only having played four games and Ohio State still needs to get to six to be eligible to play in the B1G Championship Game.
There’s the potential that Michigan could decide Ohio State’s fate with a cancellation of their game against the Buckeyes on Dec. 12 which would really damage Ohio State in the process. Kirk Herbstreit had some comments about that on the CFP show Tuesday on ESPN:
“I think a lot of people wanted to see where Ohio State would be…The fact that they’ve played four games and they’re still sitting there, now it comes down to Michigan State Saturday,” said Herbstreit. “I still think Michigan waves the white flag, potentially avoids having to play Ohio State next week, and then they’ll potentially get a game on the 19th. They could be sitting there with six games, and Michigan, is that fair David? Michigan could potentially opt out basically of that game and keep Ohio State out of six games to qualify for the B1G Championship, that doesn’t make sense to me but could potentially happen next week.”
David Pollack offered up his own thoughts on that situation:
“If you can’t beat ’em then try to keep them out of the Playoff another way. If you’re Michigan, you’ve been getting beat like a drum, I guess some other approach might work,” said Pollack with a chuckle.
Jesse Palmer also offered up an even more interesting thought as he thinks the Buckeyes may not even need the B1G Championship to make the CFP:
“Ohio State could play Wisconsin in this B1G Championship Weekend if, in fact, they don’t qualify for the championship game, and by the way: Wisconsin could be ranked higher than Northwestern for that game. In a crazy way, Ohio State’s strength of record could actually be better if they don’t play in the B1G Championship Game,” said Palmer.
Finally, Hebrstreit ended the segment with a very intriguing thought about teams opting out to avoid getting crushed on the field. He admitted to not knowing Michigan’s current situation, but he cited coaches who do believe teams are in essence refusing to play certain games with the available players:
“I’m just saying, we live in such a strange world. I’ve talked to a lot of coaches around the country that have said they really feel like teams are opting out to avoid playing games because they don’t want to get humiliated, they don’t want to lose with the teams they have,” said Herbstreit. “They don’t necessarily have too many COVID positives, they just don’t want to have to take the field with the team they have and go get embarrassed so they are basically waving the white flag and saying we can’t play…I’m not suggesting – I have no idea what Michigan’s situation is – I’m saying they have the power to potentially say ‘Hey, we can’t play next week,’ and there’s nothing Ohio State can do about it.”
This will no doubt get discussed again after this weekend’s slate of games as the conference championship games get closer.