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For The First Time Since 1917, Michigan And Ohio State Won't Play Rival Football Game

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For The First Time Since 1917, Michigan And Ohio State Won't Play Rival Football Game

One of the storied college football rivalries will see a streak of more than 100 years come to an end in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What Happened: The University of Michigan has canceled its scheduled football game with Ohio State University.

The cancellation comes after Michigan shut down all football activities last week due to more than a dozen positive COVID-19 tests, according to the Detroit Free Press. The team also canceled last Saturday’s matchup with the University of Maryland.

Why It’s Important: The rivalry often referred to as “The Game” dates back to 1897 when the two football teams first met.

The teams played each other every year from 1900 to 1912 and then resumed playing each other in 1918. Michigan and Ohio State have played each other in football every year since 1918.

Michigan leads the series with a 58-51-6 record. Ohio State has dominated in recent years, winning 15 of the last 16 rivalry matchups.

Fox Corporation (NASDAQ: FOX) was set to broadcast “The Game” to viewers. Last season’s matchup between Michigan and Ohio State had 12.42 million viewers, ranking second for college football games on the year.

The loss of the marquee matchup comes as the University of Michigan works on renegotiating the contract with head football coach Jim Harbaugh, set to expire at the end of the 2021 season.

Michigan has a 2-4 record. Harbaugh holds a 0-5 record against rival Ohio State as a head coach.

Big House, Big Loss: Michigan Football's Lost Season Creates Economic Uncertainty In Ann Arbor

What’s Next: The cancellation of a marquee game like this could cause headaches for the Big Ten as it decides whether to make an exception for Ohio State University.

The team will now fall short with a 5-0 record and not meet the six-game requirement to be in the Big Ten Championship. Remaining out of the Big Ten Championship could also hurt Ohio State’s chances of being in the NCAA College Football Playoffs.

Sports Illustrated reports the Big Ten might step in and schedule an alternate opponent for Ohio State to keep them in the postseason running.

Sports betting companies like DraftKings Inc (NASDAQ: DKNG), Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ: PENN) and Flutter Entertainment (Pink: PDYPY) unit FanDuel could lose out on one of the biggest college football games of the season for bettors.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2011. Photo by Michael Barera.

 

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Posted-In: Big Ten Covid-19 COVID-19 Pandemic Fanduel NCAANews Sports General Best of Benzinga

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