by Cassie Mattia
Loveland, Ohio – Many college football fans across Ohio are devastated due to the announcement that was delivered by the American Athletic Conference and the Michigan Athletic Department on Tuesday that both the OSU vs. Michigan game and the Cincinnati vs. Tulsa game are officially canceled.
Both rivalry games were scheduled for Saturday, December 12th, but because of the rise in positive COVID-19 cases in Cincinnati and in Michigan, it was advised by UC’s conference Medical Advisory Group and Michigan’s health experts that they cancel the games. The UC vs. Tulsa game will not be rescheduled but both teams are scheduled to play again on Saturday, December 19th in the AAC Championship Game.
Both UC’s and Michigan’s Athletic Directors spoke about the spike in positive COVID-19 cases in their student-athletes and around campus.
“Like so much of our country, the Bearcats football program has dealt with rising cases of COVID-19 over the last several weeks,” UC’s AD John Cunningham said in a press release, “Since returning from Orlando on Nov. 21, 2020, we had an increased number of positives among our student-athletes, coaches and staff. Thankfully, we have had very few symptomatic cases and those who did show symptoms appear to be doing well. This week, UC began a slow, measured return to activities, fully aware of the importance of monitoring our student-athletes who are returning after time away from practice. If we are selected to host the AAC Championship game on Dec. 19, we have requested a variance with the state of Ohio to allow a limited number of fans in the stadium. We look forward to continuing our season on Saturday, Dec. 19.”
Michigan’s Athletic Director Ward Manuel said, “The number of positive tests has continued to trend in an upward direction over the last seven days. We have not been cleared to participate in practice at this time. Unfortunately, we will not be able to field a team due to COVID-19 positives and the associated quarantining required of close-contact individuals. This decision is disappointing for our team and coaches but their health and safety are paramount, and it will always come first in our decision-making.”
The Wolverines will continue daily testing in hopes that they will be cleared to be apart of the Big Ten Champions Week, which will be held December 18th-19th.
Due to the OSU vs. Michigan game cancellation, the Buckeyes are now facing their third game cancellation this season resulting in the team being ineligible for the Big Ten Champions Title. This particular rule was established before the season began.
Thankfully for both UC and OSU fans, both teams are still ranked in the Associated Press Top 10. Below are the rankings as of December 9th.
1. Alabama (9-0)
2. Notre Dame (10-0)
3. Clemson (9-1)
4. Ohio State (5-0)
5. Texas A&M (7-1)
6. Florida (8-1)
7. Iowa State (8-2)
8. Cincinnati (8-0)
9. Georgia (6-2)
10. Miami (8-1)
11. Oklahoma (7-2)
12. Indiana (6-1)
13. Coastal Carolina (10-0)
14. Northwestern (5-1)
15. USC (3-0)
For more of your latest Ohio and Loveland sports updates stay tuned to the Sports 411 With Me, Cassie Mattia!