Michigan AD Warde Manuel 'open to conversations about' removing 6-game rule for Ohio State
Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel appears to be doing what he can to ensure Ohio State qualifies for the Big Ten Championship Game and, ultimately, the College Football Playoff.
Manuel announced Tuesday afternoon the cancelation of the annual Michigan-Ohio State rivalry game due to COVID-19.
That leaves Ohio State with a 5-0 record as of now. More importantly, the Buckeyes are on the outside-looking-in of the Big Ten Championship Game due to a six-game minimum policy that was set before the season started.
However, momentum is increasing amongst Big Ten power brokers to get the Buckeyes to the conference championship game one way or another. There’s two paths to doing so:
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- Remove the 6-game minimum requirement to qualify for a division title.
- Adjust the Big Ten’s Week 8 scheduled and give the Buckeyes their sixth game this weekend.
Manuel appears to be in favor of either option. He said at a press conference on Tuesday that no team should be “punished” for a decision that was made months ago.
Michigan AD Warde Manuel said he & B1G "open about conversation” to allow Ohio State to play in B1G title game w/only 5 games. "We made decision months ago, not knowing where this virus would take us. I don’t think anyone should be punished by decisions we made (months ago)."
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) December 8, 2020
It’s worth noting that Indiana would be named Big Ten East champions if the Buckeyes aren’t able to qualify. The Hoosiers, fresh off a win over No. 16 Wisconsin, are 6-1 with their lone loss coming to Ohio State in a close battle.
Manuel also said he believes Ohio State is one of the four best teams in the country.
Manuel “I think Ohio State is one of the top 4 teams in the country”
— angelique (@chengelis) December 8, 2020
The next round of College Football Playoff rankings will be released on Tuesday night.