As it stands, Ohio State will travel to Oregon for what will be the Ducks second game of the season.
The game will already be drastically different because the governor of Oregon has issued an order through September limiting the crowd size and potential seating capacity due to the novel coronavirus. It’s sad, but as it stands, the game will go on. In other words, stay tuned.
It would be a big loss to the college football season if the two don’t match up, but it would be a bigger blow t the Ducks. If Ohio State can’t travel to Oregon, it would lose its best non-conference opponent and be forced to rely on a weak Pac-12 resume to get into the College Football Playoff.
Since the inception of the and one done … er — “College Football Playoff” in 2014, the Pac-12 has been represented just twice. The first year, Oregon made it as the second seed and got bounced by the Buckeyes in the title game. Two years later, Washington made the cut but got smoked by Alabama. Since then, no Pac-12 team has cracked the final four.
Oregon, given the weakening of the Pac-12 over the last few seasons, needs to either enter the final game of the season undefeated with a conference championship or with just one loss being to a top two or three ranked Ohio State squad.
The Buckeyes are a strong opponent, and there’s no denying they’ll be one of the best this coming season. Beating them would almost clinch the Ducks a top-25 spot in the final polling as long as it didn’t become a wounded bunch the rest of the season.
Oregon has a good roster, but it may need to bolster its resume. What’s in store for week two does that, but without the OSU matchup, it could lose its most important game of the season in the College Football Playoff Committee’s eyes. Again, as long as the Buckeyes have the type of season we all expect.
For Ohio State, the game is less of a concern if it gets blotted off the schedule because of COVID-19 measures. It might not even crack the top three games on the schedule.
At home against Michigan, away at Penn State and then potentially against Michigan State or a Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game might be seen as a bigger challenge. While losing to Oregon would be detrimental to the team’s playoff chances, it’d be far from over.
Ohio State doesn’t need to play Oregon to have some cushion. Oregon won’t have that cushion due to their poor schedule elsewhere.
But, as a college football fan, here’s to hoping this game happens.