The Big Ten has removed the six-game minimum requirement to play in the conference football championship game, the league announced on Wednesday.
When the league revised the 2020 football schedule due to the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a rule was agreed upon that members had to play a minimum of six games to reach the conference championship game.
The Ohio State Buckeyes, currently 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the East Division, were on their way to playing six games until their contest against Michigan this weekend was canceled. With two other games canceled previously, that left the Buckeyes with only five games played in the regular-season.
The Indiana Hoosiers, also in the East Division, are 5-1 in the division but lost to the Buckeyes earlier this season, 42-35. Even if Ohio State played and lost to Michigan this weekend, the Buckeyes still would have advanced to the championship game based on the head-to-head tiebreaker with Indiana.
As a result of the decision, Ohio State will play in the 2020 Big Ten Football Championship Game against the Northwestern Wildcats. The game is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 19 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., and the game kickoff at Noon ET with television coverage on FOX.
As for Indiana, the Hoosiers were “disappointed” but they “understand the conference’s decision.”
IU Vice President & Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Scott Dolson Statement… pic.twitter.com/ByOMRiS75B
— Indiana Football (@IndianaFootball) December 9, 2020