Ohio State coach Ryan Day confirms National Championship still on track despite COVID-19 issues
Every week of the 2020 college football season has been a many-faceted adventure as a consequence of the global COVID-19 pandemic, right down to the most basic question: Will the other team be able to show up to play?
The answer many times turned out to be, no, they were not.
With the national championship the only meaningful thing left, all eyes have shifted to the challenger in Ohio State, a team that lost three full games off their schedule this season after COVID issues cropped up either with the Buckeyes or their opponents and forced contests into the trash heap.
Despite the rumor mill firing off little incendiary tidbits at the regular rate, the Buckeyes are appear to be, as of Thursday, a four days countdown distance away from the game, all good. Head coach Ryan Day told Dan Hope of Eleven Warriors, a media property covering Ohio State athletics, that the squad was on track to kickoff Monday on time.
Asked to confirm that Ohio State is still on track to play Monday, Ryan Day replies succinctly: “Correct.”— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) January 7, 2021
Day later told Charlie Potter, a beat reporter covering the Buckeyes’ opponent in Alabama, that Ohio State had, “plenty of players” to make a tussle of it early next week.
More from Ryan Day: "We'll have plenty of players."— Charlie Potter (@Charlie_Potter) January 7, 2021
Day offered further insight to Eleven Warriors on the kind of season it’s been for Ohio State with the COVID difficulties on their own rosters and that of opponents, revealing that every unique case has an impact on a team’s moral and ability to compete.
“Any time you deal with that [positive COVID test result], it is a gut-punch, but we’ve gotten used to it,” Day said.
The Buckeyes athletic director gave a thumbs up of his own yesterday when he said everything was on schedule to this point, and the Scarlet and Gray squad planned to be on the field Monday night in Miami Gardens.
Spoke briefly with Ohio State AD Gene Smith, who did not give any details about what COVID issues the Buckeyes might be having _ if any _ but he did say: "We're on schedule and I anticipate we'll be there (Monday). In the COVID world it's day-by-day. Today was a good day."— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) January 6, 2021
The College Football Playoff National Championship game kicks off Jan. 11 at 8 ET from Hard Rock Stadium in suburban Miami and will be broadcast in various fashions across the ESPN imprint of networks. As of now, both combatants, the Alabama Crimson Tide included, are expected to be on the field and ready to rumble.