The annual rivalry clash between Ohio State and Michigan likely won’t be played in November as it has been for more than eight decades, The Columbus Dispatch reported Friday.
Citing a source, The Dispatch said the game likely will be scheduled in the early weeks of the season to ensure it is played, just in case the college football season is forced to come to a premature halt because of the coronavirus pandemic. The two programs traditionally end the regular season against each other.
The Big Ten Conference announced on July 9 that its fall sports teams, including football, would play a conference-only schedule. The Buckeyes are scheduled to host the Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on Nov. 28.
The Big Ten schedule has yet to be announced, and in a letter to the member schools on Thursday, commissioner Kevin Warren and Chris Kratochvil, chair of the Big Ten’s Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases, said “scheduling for fall sports remains fluid” and said the conference would make a decision about beginning preseason camp on time within five days.
All teams that were scheduled to begin their season on Sept. 5 were supposed to open camp on Aug. 7.
“We will not, and cannot, proceed with preseason camp until we are certain that we can do so safely and that will depend, in part, on testing,” the letter reads. “Once we have everything in place to execute our testing protocols effectively, including the appropriate number of tests secured for all fall sports, we can make a decision as to whether preseason camp will begin as currently scheduled.”
The letter also reads: “We want to say as clearly as we can that we understand the frustration associated with the circumstances created by the COVID-19 virus. The pandemic has made it challenging to provide information as early as we would like, but it’s important for us to be thorough and transparent.”
The Buckeyes and Wolverines have met in November every year since 1934.
Ohio State has won 15 of their past 16 meetings.