Ohio State thrashed Clemson in the Sugar Bowl on Friday night, setting up a date with Alabama for the national title next week. One college football writer thinks the Buckeyes had an advantage over the Tigers based on how many games they played.
Seth Emerson, who covers Georgia for The Athletic, took to Twitter early Saturday morning to reflect on the contest. He says that while Ohio State may have won the game anyway, the Buckeyes “definitely” had an advantage playing only six games this season.
As a reminder, the Big Ten decided in August to cancel the 2020 season. The league reversed its decision a month later, but only scheduled nine games for each team. COVID-19 outbreaks at Ohio State and other schools wound up cancelling three of Ohio State’s scheduled games.
Clemson, meanwhile, wound up playing 11 games.
Emerson thinks teams from the ACC, SEC and Big 12 could have been “spent” after the year.
ACC, SEC and Big 12 teams have been practicing since the summer and played 10+ games. Every reason for them to be spent.
Ohio State and Big Ten teams got a late start and played less games. Doesn’t mean OSU wouldn’t have won anyway last night. But it’s definitely an advantage.
— Seth Emerson (@SethWEmerson) January 2, 2021
It’s an interesting argument, and it’s one that Clemson fans will surely agree with. But you can also argue the other side – that Ohio State didn’t have ample time to gel as a team.
Ohio State certainly looked like the better team on Friday night, so maybe Emerson is on to something. Or maybe the Buckeyes really just are one of the two best teams in the country.
College football fans – what do you think? Did Ohio State have an advantage over Clemson because it only played six games? Or was it actually a disadvantage that the Buckeyes overcame?