The passion in the Ohio State/Michigan rivalry runs deep, and even though it hasn't been a particularly competitive series the last two decades, the dislike across the aisle hasn't waned.
But while Michigan hasn't competed well on the field (especially the past two years), there's a scenario that exists where they could dictate Ohio State's fate for a Big Ten championship.
On Tuesday night during the College Football Playoff Top 25 show on ESPN, former Buckeye and current ESPN lead college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit shared his thoughts on Michigan potentially backing out on Ohio State on Dec. 12, thus preventing them from playing enough games to qualify for the Big Ten championship game.
“I still think Michigan waves the white flag, potentially avoids playing Ohio State next week, and then they’ll potentially get a game on the 19th,” Herbstreit said. “Is that fair, David [Pollack]? Michigan could opt out, basically, of that game, and keep Ohio State out of six games to qualify for the Big Ten championship. That doesn’t make sense to me.”
Michigan's program is currently conducting matters virtually as they try to stop the spread of CoVID within their locker room as well.
"I don't know all the numbers as far as COVID is concerned, but we live in such a strange world that they really feel teams are opting out to avoid playing games," Herbstreit said. "They don't want to get humiliated or lose with the team they have. They don't want to get embarrassed. There's a lot of that being talked about around the country."
While on the air, Herbstreit never budged from his stance that Michigan could potentially "wave the white flag."
"I have no idea what Michigan's situation is," Herbstreit said. "But they have to the power to say, 'hey, we're not playing next week.'"
However, Herbstreit backed off his comments after the show was over and apologized for what he said. He posted this video on his personal Twitter account.
“I had no business at all saying that. I have no evidence of that. That’s completely unfair to the University of Michigan, to Jim Harbaugh, to his players and coaches, and I just wanted to apologize.”
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