It’s possible the Iowa Hawkeyes could play Ohio State during the Big Ten’s Champions Week. Here’s how it could come together.
It might just happen. Iowa football (4-2) has just two games left in the regular season with matchups against Illinois and Wisconsin yet to be played. However, one more game will be scheduled during the Big Ten’s Champions Week. Could Ohio State be on the docket?
The No. 19 Hawkeyes are technically eliminated from contending for the Big Ten West title now that the Northwestern-Minnesota game is canceled due to a covid outbreak in the Gophers’ program. Iowa needed Northwestern (5-1) to lose their final three games, which isn’t mathematically possible anymore.
Because of that, the Hawkeyes won’t be playing in Indianapolis this year for the Big Ten Championship. But that doesn’t mean Iowa will have the day off on Dec. 19. In fact, it’s entirely possible, if not likely, that the Hawkeyes could play Ohio State that Saturday.
The Big Ten is set to schedule one more game for each team during the week of the Big Ten Championship, which has appropriately been dubbed ‘Champions Week’.
Because the Big Ten set a threshold of six-games in order to qualify for the conference title game, Ohio State could be ineligible due to an insufficient number of games played.
The Buckeyes have already had two games canceled this season (Maryland and Illinois), meaning one more cancellation would disqualify them from being eligible for the Big Ten Championship.
Ohio State is dealing with a covid outbreak in their program and could be forced to cancel this week’s game against Michigan State.
In that case, Indiana would be the de facto champion of the Big Ten East, meaning Ohio State would be the runner up.
That means Iowa, which has a chance to be runner up in the Big Ten West if they win out, could be in line to face the Buckeyes on Dec. 19 during Champions Week; the No. 2 seed in the West vs. the No. 2 seed in the East.
Ohio State (4-0) is currently the No. 4 team in the College Football Playoff rankings. The Hawkeyes haven’t faced Ohio State since 2017, when they pulled off a massive 55-24 upset. The Buckeyes were 7-1 and ranked No. 6 at the time.