Officially, the Big Ten says it is not playing football this fall. But there’s growing pressure on the conference to reconsider.
The latest pressure comes from Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, who put out a statement today saying he and his team want to play. Day also criticized the Big Ten for “disappointing and often unclear” communication, and Day hinted that Ohio State’s president and athletic director are on his side.
“We still have an opportunity to give our young men what they have worked so hard for: a chance to safely compete for a national championship this fall,” Day said. “Our players want to know: Why can’t they play?”
Ohio State is both the Big Ten’s best program on the field and its biggest draw with college football fans. If Ohio State insists that its football team is ready, willing and able to play, things could get ugly if the Big Ten stands in its way. Ohio’s attorney general has even suggested that the state university could win tens of millions of dollars in a lawsuit against the conference if the Buckeyes want to play and the conference tries to stop them.
At this point, it seems quite likely that at least some Big Ten football teams will play this year — and Ohio State may just compete for this season’s national championship after all.