More bad news on Monday for the Big Ten.
After it was reported earlier that Michigan football is going to conduct business virtually on Monday while it waits for more test results, the Minnesota football program is now pausing and has cancelled Saturday's game with Northwestern.
Oddly enough, despite Northwestern currently not playing this weekend, they are essentially West Division champions and they'll play in the Big Ten championship game on Dec. 19.
Earlier this morning, Dan Patrick on The Dan Patrick Show said a source within the Big Ten told him this was coming ... and also shared this speculation about Ohio State's chances of playing Michigan State this weekend.
Of course, The Ohio State Buckeyes program continues to pause as they deal with an increased number of CoVID-19 cases within the program. The Scarlet and Gray cancelled its game this past weekend at Illinois because they crossed the 7.5 percent threshold of total population positivity in their daily testing procedures. The game was not cancelled by the league though, because they only met one of the two mandates set forth by Big Ten protocol.
The Buckeyes made it clear in a news conference on Saturday with athletic director Gene Smith, head coach Ryan Day and team physician Dr. Jim Borchers that their intention was to do everything possible to play Michigan State on Saturday, Dec. 5. The status of that game is still in question.
Prior to this announcement from Minnesota and the Ohio State shut down last week, Wisconsin and Maryland are the only two other teams that had to pause all team activities and been forced to cancel a game because of a CoVID outbreak. Each of those teams were unable to compete for two weeks before they got their viral outbreaks under control.
If Ohio State (4-0) does not play either Michigan State or Michigan the next two weeks, and if the Big Ten plays at least three of the remaining scheduled 14 games across the league, the Buckeyes will not play enough games to qualify for the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis on Dec. 19. But, they would still play a game on Dec. 19 against the West Division team that finished in the same position in the division standings that Ohio State finished in the East Division - a likely matchup with either Iowa or Wisconsin.
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