College Football Cavalcade: The Big Ten's Wisconsin Problem, Ohio State's Toughest Opponent

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

College Football Cavalcade: The Big Ten's Wisconsin Problem, Ohio State's Toughest Opponent

College Football Cavalcade

College Football Cavalcade: The Big Ten's Wisconsin Problem, Ohio State's Toughest Opponent

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Nothing gross about throwing a deadly pandemic into a football discussion or anything, but …

Please forgive how cheeky this line is considering the topic, but it really is true.

It’s Ohio State vs. COVID-19 for the Big Ten championship.

Would you be shocked if Clemson lost to Notre Dame this weekend? Would you be totally floored if Virginia Tech came up with something magical at home in the regular season finale against the Tigers?

Would you fall out of your chair if LSU all of a sudden rose up at home in two weeks and went off on Alabama? How about if Auburn pulled off the upset in Tuscaloosa, and/or the Georgia/Florida winner won the SEC Championship?

Now that the Penn State game is out of the way, in a short eight-game season, what’s left for the Buckeyes?

Rutgers? No. At Maryland? No. Indiana? Stop it. At Illinois or at Michigan State? Of course not, and nah.

The Michigan game closes things out – don’t just assume the Wolverines are losing again before this, by the way – but we all know how this movie ends.

Considering Wisconsin is such a mess, and there’s nothing else to worry about in the West – including Northwestern – Ohio State has the easiest remaining path of any true contender to get to the College Football Playoff.

Unless …

One of two things could ruin this sure-thing fun-run for the Buckeyes.

Justin Fields can’t get hurt. CJ Stroud was a great get from the latest recruiting class and will be terrific, and Gunnar Hoak is a veteran presence, but Ohio State doesn’t have a DJ Uiagalelei or Bryce Young ready to be next-level special right away if needed.

The rest of the team is good enough to have you at quarterback and be fine for the next several games, but this year, unless you have a future NFL starting quarterback, you’re not …

(COUGH … Georgia … COUGGGGGGGHHHH)

Sorry about that. You’re not getting through that four-team tournament with a trophy.

The other concern is the virus. It can be a simple case of bad luck that ruins this whole thing for the Buckeyes.

Would the CFP blow off a two-game shutdown if Ohio State had to deal with that? What happens in the East if it’s a three-game shutdown and Michigan has six wins and the Buckeyes have five?

It’s not like these teams aren’t trying to keep everyone as safe as possible, but a virus doesn’t care if you’re supposed to win the national title.

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