COLUMBUS — The Ohio State football team will be playing for something other than pride this fall.
The Big Ten Conference announced today that bowl-banned OSU is eligible to win the Leaders Division and receive a trophy.
With the Buckeyes ineligible to play in the Big Ten Championship game, it was taken as gospel that they could not be recognized as division champions. But conference spokesman Scott Chipman said a media inquiry last week prompted the conference to make a ruling. OSU was notified of the decision today.
“All eight of their regular-season [conference] games count,” Chipman said. “So if a team finishes a year with the best record, they’re the division champion.”
If Ohio State wins the Leaders Division, the eligible team with the next-best record would advance to the league championship game.