The No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Ohio State are scheduled to play in the college football championship game on January 11 at Hard Rock Stadium.
However, there is a possibility that the game will be postponed until January 18. AL.com reported that the game could be delayed until January 18 due to player availability issues with the state of Ohio.
Since zenith and me, according to sources: there are COVID-19 problems in the state of Ohio that have led to discussions about the possibility of having to delay the game for the national title to a later date https://t.co/8F7GiP7b7o
– John Talty (Italy) January 5, 2021
Stadium Brett McMurphy also reported that the game could be postponed:
Due to COVID issues in the state of Ohio, there have been discussions about postponing @CFBPlayoff game title through Jan. 18, sources said stadium. 1st reported by Italy AND zenith. The game, for now, is still scheduled for Monday night.
– Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) January 5, 2021
Pete Thames of Yahoo Sports reported that Ohio State plans to play the game on Monday as of now. Alabama, Ohio State and the SEC are pushing for the game to be played, but Big Ten officials have raised concerns about the Buckeyes’ involvement given the circumstances.
Sources: As of now, Ohio State plans to play in the title game as scheduled on January 11. All systems are ready for that. There have been COVID-19 issues at OSU, but not enough to postpone the game. Obviously this is COVID-19 times, and things can change.
– Pete Thames (@PeteThames) January 5, 2021
Monitoring the Ohio State COVID problem. They told me Alabama and the SEC are pushing hard to play … Ohio State too. But the Big Ten office is pushing to postpone it.
– Chris Greece (@ChrisGreece) January 5, 2021
Will that lead to one last disruption in a college football season affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic?
The Buckeyes had three games canceled this season due to COVID-19 issues, although two of those games were canceled by their opponents in Maryland and Michigan.
A total of 23 Ohio State players missed the Michigan State game On December 5th. The Buckeyes did not play Michigan the following week. Head coach Ryan Day also tested positive for COVID-19 during the regular season.
It’s been an ongoing roster battle for Ohio State this season in a state that ranks sixth in the United States in confirmed cases. AL.com reported that “the state of Ohio has informed key parties involved that it may be without a position group due to COVID-19 testing and related protocols.”
Alabama coach Nick Saban missed the Iron Bowl this season after testing positive for COVID-19, but Crimson Tide played all 10 regular-season games before the SEC championship game and the CFP semifinal.
January 18 a possibility
The CFP committee can delay the game for a week until January 18, and the schools, SEC and Big Ten will participate in that decision. With the game less than a week away, that decision should come soon.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.