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#pounditFriday, January 22, 2021

Kirk Herbstreit thinks Michigan may try to sabotage Ohio State’s season

Kirk Herbstreit

Kirk Herbstreit offered a surprising prediction for the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry game this year.

Herbstreit appeared on ESPN’s “College Football Playoff” rankings release show on Tuesday and talked about Ohio State maintaining the No. 4 spot in the rankings despite having its game canceled last week. He discussed the Buckeyes’ remaining season and mentioned the Michigan game.

“I still think Michigan waves the white flag and potentially avoids playing Ohio State next week. And then they’ll potentially get a game on the 19th,” Herbstreit. “Michigan could opt out of that game and keep Ohio State out of six games to qualify for the Big Ten Championship. That could potentially happen next week.”

Herbstreit may have been trying to get ahead of the situation to bully the Wolverines into playing the game.

The issue, as Herbstreit mentioned, is the lack of games remaining on Ohio State’s schedule. The Buckeyes are 4-0 and their game against Illinois last week was canceled. They need to play at least six games to qualify for the conference championship game. They are scheduled to visit Michigan State on Saturday and host Michigan the following week.

Michigan is 2-4 and has not missed a game this season. But they are enduring the worst year they’ve had under Jim Harbaugh. Herbstreit, whose sons play for Clemson, mentioned that some programs are using COVID-19 as an excuse to opt out of games to avoid humiliation. This is the exact accusation that Dabo Swinney made this year.

Jim Harbaugh is a lot of things, but one thing he is not is a chicken who would intentionally duck a game to avoid looking bad. That’s not his character. But Herbstreit thinks it’s a possibility.

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