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Paul Finebaum Has Message For Playoff Committee About Ohio State

An extreme closeup of ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum from the Cotton Bowl in Texas in 2019.

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 31: TV/radio personality Paul Finebaum of the SEC Network speaks on air before the Goodyear Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium on December 31, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

The last few days for the Ohio State football program have been tumultuous to say the least. Head coach Ryan Day tested positive for COVID-19 as the Buckeyes dealt with an outbreak of the virus inside their locker room. Ultimately, the Big Ten decided to call off Ohio State's game vs. Illinois that was scheduled for Saturday.

Now, at 4-0, the Buckeyes have just two remaining games scheduled. If either of those contests doesn't take place, Ohio State would not meet the six-game threshold required to play in the conference championship game. As a result, the Buckeyes playoff hopes would take a huge hit.

Paul Finebaum became the latest to weigh in on what the College Football Playoff committee should do with the best Big Ten team. The ESPN analyst encouraged the group to be understanding when it came to ranking the Buckeyes moving forward.

“I think they have to have an open mind,” Finebaum said about the College Football Playoff committee, according to 247Sports. “The Big Ten shut down and then came back so they did a lot of this to themselves. I still don’t think Ohio State should be penalized if they don't get to the Big Ten championship game. They are the best team in the Big Ten and I don’t think there's much debate about that. I’ll leave it up to Kevin Warren and the Big Ten conference. They need to find a way to get them in. But if they don't, I'd lean heavily towards Ohio State right now. I like Ohio State a lot.”

Fans and pundits alike should get a better understanding about what the committee thinks when the newest rankings arrive on Tuesday. Ideally, Ohio State can get back onto the field next weekend to play Michigan State.

As of right now, the Buckeyes are slated to play the Spartans at noon ET on Dec. 5. Stay tuned for any updates concerning the status of the Big Ten East game.