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The Big Ten may change its rules to let Ohio State in the title game, says Barry Alvarez

Right now the biggest source of intrigue is whether an undefeated Ohio State will miss the College Football Playoff due to a pandemic-induced technicality.

The 4-0 Buckeyes, clinging by the tips of their fingernails to the No. 4 spot in the latest CFP rankings, may or may not play Michigan State this Saturday and may or may not play Michigan next Saturday. Having already missed a trip to Maryland due to the Terps' COVID issues and last Saturday's Illinois game to their own, the Buckeyes are at risk of missing the Big Ten Championship due to not playing enough games.

It remains to be seen if Ohio State will have enough healthy and available players to face Michigan State this Saturday, and if Michigan will have enough to face them next weekend.

All of this obscures one, major point though: the Big Ten's "rule" was basically written in sand and can be changed at any time.

The current rule -- requiring teams to be within two games played of their division's average to achieve title game eligibility -- was written to keep a 2-0 from "winning" their division by default over a 7-1 opponent they never played. The present situation is different than that, where Ohio State holds head-to-head over second-place Indiana, with no third challenger within 200 miles of those two.

Furthermore, it's in the Big Ten's best interest to reach the Playoff and, thanks to Northwestern's loss to Michigan State, the Buckeyes are the league's best and only shot.

It would take a vote of 14 Big Ten ADs to change the rule, and Wisconsin's Barry Alvarez -- a former CFP selection committee member himself -- said today the league's ADs are aware of the stakes at play. (It should be noted that, in the event Ohio State and Michigan can not play, the Big Ten could also arrange a new game when another Dec. 12 game is inevitably canceled.)

There's no good reason for the Big Ten to hold itself to a rule that was made up on the fly weeks ago, and the Big Ten wouldn't even be the first conference to change its rules to maximize its Playoff chances this week. Just yesterday the ACC canceled games to give Notre Dame and Clemson a clearer path to their conference championship and, in turn, the Playoff.

The SEC would certainly be angered by this move. Any move that increases Ohio State's chances of reaching the 4-team field thereby reduces the SEC's odds of getting two of Alabama, Florida and Texas A&M in.

Which, if we're being honest, is all the more reason the Big Ten should change its rules.