Coach Ryan Day wasn’t in East Lansing for his Buckeyes’ 52-12 woodshed victory over Michigan State, he was kept home in Covid-19 protocol and sent lieutenants to coach in his stead.

But the temporarily displaced head man found a heavy dollop of praise to heap on the lads and leaders who battled well and triumphantly without him and brought victory home to Columbus. According to Ohio State blog, Eleven Warriors, Day was quoted: 

“This is all about the leaders, it’s all about the coaches who all stepped up in a big way. Can’t say enough about the leaders this week and watching the leadership and watching the way these guys played, I couldn’t be any prouder and happier for them,” Day said. “Couldn’t be prouder of a coaching staff.”

The Buckeyes, a true College Football Playoff contender, were forced last week to cancel their contest with Illinois on the eve of battle, leaving the squad with four games played, two remaining, and in need of six to qualify for the conference title game—a major data point for selection into the playoff. 

Then, Covid-19 testing knocked out three starting offensive linemen, multiple important contributors, and four coaches in the run up to the Michigan State game, but the Buckeyes went out and achieved, anyway, winning their biggest victory of the season.

All that remains is a home date next Saturday against the bitterly hated Michigan Wolverines to finish the season, make a sixth game, and give Ohio State a shot at the league title game. They will be heavy favorites over the Wolverines and a loss would mark by far the biggest upset in series history, and one of the greatest in college football history.

The only real danger to the game are serious Covid-19 issues on Michigan’s roster. The Wolverines were forced to cancel yesterday’s home game against Maryland, and next Saturday is far from certain from a roster perspective. For the Buckeyes, it would mean either the Big Ten would have to change its six-game rule to allow Ohio State into the championship, or allow them to schedule another game against an idle team or out of conference opponent, a situation that would send eager Nebraska fans into paroxysms of anger and outrage after being denied the same opportunity early this season.

If everything goes to plan, Ohio State and Michigan will kick off “The Game,” noon ET next Saturday on FOX.


Sports Betting in Big Ten Country

Ohio sports betting apps are officially launching on January 1, 2023.

Pre-registration is now available at FanDuel Ohio for an extra $100 bonus. Go pre-register now.

21+ and present in OH. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.