Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, NCAA Football

Ohio Dept. of Health prohibits fans from attending Ohio State games (for now)

Ohio State football fans will to have to watch games at home this year.

The Horseshoe will not be allowing Ohio State football fans to attend their games this season.

Per Ohio State Buckeyes beat writer Marcus Hartman of the Dayton Daily News, “Ohio Dept. of Health press secretary confirmed Aug. 1 order prohibits spectators at contact sports game. That includes Ohio State, Bengals, Browns.”

Hartman followed up his initial tweet saying this order will be updated but expect it to remain in place into next month when the college and NFL season is to begin.

How will no fans in attendance impact Ohio State football games this year?

It will be the strangest football season of our lives, college or pro. Ohio State will play at 10-game, conference-only schedule in the Big Ten this fall. The Pac-12 and the SEC have adopted this, while the ACC has adopted this with a plus-one caveat, in that the non-conference game in question must be played with the state’s border of the ACC team in question.

Regardless of how and where they play, the Ohio State football team should be the favorites to win the Big Ten and reach the College Football Playoff for the fourth time in school history. Anything short of a playoff berth and frankly, a national title appearance, would be seen as a major disappointment for this college football blue-blood program.

Typically, Ohio Stadium is a massive home-field advantage for the Buckeyes. While we weren’t expecting The Horseshoe to be packed to the brim this year, it is still one of the most hostile road environments in the entire Power 5. The amount of games the Buckeyes have won over the years because of the home crowd are numerous. Obviously, Ohio State and the rest of Ohio must adjust.

As Hartman suggested, a lot can change before the Buckeyes, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns play a game that matters this season. This ruling by the Ohio Department of Health also impacts a major Group of 5 contender in the Cincinnati Bearcats of The American, as well as several programs that make up the MAC conference. How will they go about this?

For the Ohio NFL teams, this may put the Bengals and Browns at a major disadvantage (not like they needed another one) when it comes to the rest of the AFC. Cincinnati is rebuilding under 2019 Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow, while Cleveland hopes to push for the AFC playoffs under 2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. Not having fans in the stands hurts them.

While Ohio State should still be great, the Buckeyes’ rabid fan base will have to catch them on TV.

Next: Best college football players of all time from every state

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