The 2020 college football season was marred by cancellations and postponements, as programs tried, often in vain, to proceed with a season in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. Next Monday, the season is set to come to an official close with the College Football Playoff national title game between Alabama and Ohio State, but at present their ability to play that game as scheduled is in a bit of peril.
According to AL.com, Ohio State has alerted Alabama, the Big Ten, the SEC, and College Football Playoff to COVID-19 issues that could threaten an entire position group and may need the game to be postponed.
There have been discussions amongst the SEC, Big Ten, the College Football Playoff and the schools related to possibly postponing the Jan. 11 title game, sources said, though a final decision on the situation has yet to be reached. The CFP has already established Jan. 18 in Hard Rock Stadium as the makeup date should the title game have to be postponed.
According to Aaron Suttles of The Athletic, the SEC is pushing for the game to be played as is, which should come as little surprise, but a decision remains to be determined.
Re: College Football Playoff national championship game postponement….I’ve been told SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey is pushing hard against a postponement.
— Aaron Suttles (@AaronSuttles) January 5, 2021
Per Pete Thamel of Yahoo, the game is still being planning on being played as scheduled, but should things get worse for the Buckeyes that can change.
Sources: As of right now, Ohio State planning on playing in the title game as scheduled on Jan. 11. All systems are go for that. There’s been COVID-19 issues at OSU, but not enough to postpone the game. This is obviously COVID-19 times, and things can change.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 5, 2021
And the Buckeyes still want to play as scheduled, provided things do not get worse.
Text message from Ohio State AD Gene Smith to The Blade: “Game is still on. We continue to follow the same protocols as we have all season. Our goal is to play January 11th!”
— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) January 5, 2021
It is a fitting close to a season that’s been as much defined by the stop/start nature as what’s happened on the field, and the biggest hope is that everyone involved with the Buckeyes remains healthy. Should more positive tests emerge and Ohio State indeed lose a position group due to contact tracing, then things will become much murkier and a postponement could ensue.