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Barry Alvarez Says Big Ten Would Reconsider 6-Game Rule if Unbeaten Buckeyes are Left Out

The Wisconsin AD and former Badgers coach insinuates the league would make sure OSU won't be hurt by a rule created before the season started.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are one cancelled game away from not playing enough games to qualify for the Big Ten championship, according to the current conference rules. But Wisconsin AD and former head coach Barry Alvarez doesn't believe the league's athletic directors would actually let that happen.

Under the current Big Ten rules during this chaotic season, a team must play six of the eight regular season games in order to qualify for the title game. The only stipulation to that rule is if the average number of games per team falls below six, which as teams enter the final two weeks of the regular season, would require 12 of the 14 scheduled games to be cancelled. That's an extremely unlikely scenario.

Alvarez, who was at the forefront of the Big Ten's return to action earlier this fall, says the league would have to reconsider that rule if it meant an undefeated Ohio State team didn't make the title game.

Barry Alvarez

"I think if something were to happen to Ohio State and they'd have to cancel another game, that's something that we've got to revisit," Alvarez told The Detroit News. "They're sitting up there still ranked No. 4. Our league can't keep them from having the opportunity if they have a chance to be in the finals."

Alvarez said the league AD's meet on a weekly basis and have already begun discussing those kinds of things.

"We meet weekly. Those are things we discuss," Alvarez said. "We may make some adjustments on that last week. That's sort of a flexible week of scheduling. But those are things we talk about and certainly you've got to consider, or reconsider."

As I wrote earlier today, I think the worst possible scenario for the league is to have an unbeaten Buckeye team not playing for a Big Ten title. I also think there's at least one potential, realistic option to prevent that from happening.

The biggest worry for Ohio State at the moment is that they could play this weekend and potentially beat Michigan State, giving them a 5-0 record going into The Game on December 12, and not playing Michigan. The Wolverines program is currently paused until at least Monday and their game this weekend against Maryland has been cancelled because of an outbreak in the locker room up in Ann Arbor.

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