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Ohio State AD Addresses Future Prospect of Hosting a Playoff Game, Suggests Off-Site Location

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith addressed the future possibility of his school hosting a playoff game on the university’s Columbus campus, saying Wednesday that he would instead recommend it be played off-site. 

As Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger reported in November, as part of one proposal in which the College Football Playoff expands to 12 teams, first-round postseason games would take place on the campuses of the higher seeds. But, as SI reported, host schools, especially those located in northern climates, could have the flexibility to move a game to a regionally located indoor stadium of their choice.

Smith said Wednesday that the cold weather and potentially sloppy field could make the Buckeyes instead seek to host a possible playoff game at Detroit’s Ford Field, Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium and Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium.

Per BuckeyesNow, Smith said, “While it would be difficult to take it away from the ‘Shoe, it’s the right thing to do for the players.”

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He added that he would be surprised if the CFB doesn’t expand to 12 teams. Nevertheless, the timeline for expansion remains unclear. 

As Dellenger wrote in January, “The commissioners agree: Everyone wants expansion. However, there is no unanimity on the format or agreement on the timing.”

Ohio State has made four playoff appearances since the format was enacted in 2014. While it failed to make the College Football Playoff last season, it finished ’21 with an 11–2 record and the No. 6 ranking in the final AP poll. 

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