COVID-19 Outbreak in Ohio State: Will New Circumstances Postpone CFP Championship Recreation In opposition to Alabama?
No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Ohio State are scheduled to play in the College Football Playoff Championship game on January 11 at Hard Rock Stadium.
However, there is a possibility that the game will be postponed to January 18th. AL.com reported that the game may be rescheduled to January 18 due to player availability concerns with the state of Ohio.
From @mzenitz and me, according to sources: There are COVID-19 issues in the state of Ohio which have sparked discussions that the national title game may need to be postponed to a later date https://t.co/8F7GiP7b7o
– John Talty (@JTalty) January 5, 2021
Brett McMurphy from the stadium also reported that the game could be postponed:
Due to COVID issues in the state of Ohio, there have been discussions about rescheduling the @ CFBPlayoff title game to January 18, sources said @Stadium. 1. Report from @JTalty & @mzenitz. The game is initially planned for Monday evening
– Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) January 5, 2021
Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel reported that the state of Ohio plans to play the game on Monday with immediate effect. Alabama, Ohio State and the SEC are all reportedly pushing for the game to be played, but Big Ten officials have reportedly raised concerns about the Buckeyes participating in the circumstances.
Sources: As of now, the state of Ohio plans to play in the title game on January 11th as planned. All systems are suitable for this. There have 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
Follow-up to Ohio State’s COVID Issue. I’ve been told that Alabama and the SEC are doing everything they can to play the game … Ohio State too. But the Big Ten office is pushing to move it.
– Chris Breece (@ChrisBreece) January 5, 2021
Will this result in one final disruption to a college football season hit by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic?
The Buckeyes had canceled three games this season due to COVID-19 issues, although two of those games were canceled by their opponents in Maryland and Michigan.
A total of 23 players from the US state of Ohio missed the game in the US state of Michigan on December 5th. The Buckeyes didn’t play Michigan the following week. Head coach Ryan Day also tested positive for COVID-19 during the regular season.
It has been an ongoing squad battle for the state of Ohio this season in a state that ranks sixth in the US in confirmed cases. AL.com reported, “The state of Ohio has notified key stakeholders that due to COVID-19 testing and related protocols, there may not be a position group.”
Alabama’s trainer Nick Saban missed the Iron Bowl this season after testing positive for COVID-19, but the Crimson Tide played all 10 regular season games before the SEC championship game and the CFP semifinals.
January 18th a possibility
The CFP committee can reschedule the game for a week to January 18, and the schools, SEC, and the Big Ten will all have their say in that decision. With the game less than a week away, that decision should be made soon.