Alabama, Ohio State Cleared to Play in Title Game
It's official: the national championship is on.
The Alabama Crimson Tide and Ohio State Buckeyes football teams were required to be tested for the coronavirus before traveling to Miami this weekend to play in the title game. After it was unclear whether the game would be held on Monday, Jan. 11 due to COVID-19 concerns from Ohio State's athletics department, both teams are now cleared and ready to go.
Earlier last week, Matt Zenitz of AL.com reported that an entire Buckeyes position group might have been affected by the virus. This led rumors to fly about whether the game would need to be postponed, but a Friday afternoon tweet from Alabama Athletics Director Greg Byrne indicates that there is no cause for concern.
ESPN's Heather Dinitch also tweeted that she confirmed with both schools on Friday afternoon, announcing the speculation is "over" and the CFP National Championship will be played.
However, it is possible that not everyone will make the trip. Dinich reported that Ohio State coach Ryan Day would not disclose exactly how many teammates will be traveling for the game, only insisting that "plenty of players" are available to play. Rumors are floating around Twitter about who currently has COVID-19 and who might play in their place but no one has been reliably identified.
The Buckeyes, as is the case with many teams in the Big 10 conference this season, have had their fair share of COVID-19-related issues when it comes to gameplay. But both conferences' commissioners and both schools' athletics directors are adamant that all appropriate precautions are in place, guidelines are being followed, and the game will not be delayed.
The Crimson Tide is set to depart from Tuscaloosa at 4:45 p.m. today to head to Miami. The CFP National Championship game will be held at Hard Rock Stadium on Jan. 11, 2021. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CST.
More information regarding this game will be shared once it becomes available.
All-SEC First Team
Preseason All-SEC 2nd Team