The Old Oaken Bucket Game Canceled
The Old Oaken Bucket Game featuring the Indiana Hoosiers and Purdue Boilermakers has been canceled.
Both schools issued a joint statement on Tuesday citing COVID-19 concerns within both programs for the reason to cancel Friday’s game.
These two teams were initially supposed to play on Dec. 12, but the game was pushed back a week. The ongoing situation has not improved for either team, and the game has now been officially canceled.
This is the first season that Indiana and Purdue will not meet on the football field since 1919. The annual game was canceled in both 1918 and 1919 during the influenza pandemic, but these rivals have met every year since 1920.
The Old Oaken Bucket Trophy was first awarded in 1925 after a joint effort between the two schools was made to create a traveling trophy. The name refers to a poem that was written by Samuel Wadsworth in 1817.
Indiana and Purdue first met on the football field in 1891, and it has been an annual rivalry played during peacetime years. Purdue has dominated the overall series against Indiana, posting a record of 74-42-6.
Since the 2020 version of the Old Oaken Bucket Game was canceled, the traveling trophy will stay in the possession of Indiana until at least 2021. Indiana defeated Purdue by a score of 44-41 in a thrilling game that went into two overtimes.
Indiana will finish the regular season with a record of 6-1 to finish in second place in the Big Ten East. Purdue will end the season with a record of 2-4, which includes four straight losses.
Ohio State Chosen Over IU
When the Ohio State-Michigan game was canceled last week, all signs pointed to the Indiana Hoosiers making an appearance in the Big Ten Championship Game. League rules stated that a team must play in six games to be qualified for the title game, and Ohio State played just five regular-season contests.
Things changed last week when Big Ten athletic directors agreed to change the rules so that Ohio State would still be eligible to compete. This left Indiana on the outside looking in and not earning a chance to play Northwestern for the Big Ten Championship.
Ohio State was ranked as the No. 4 team in the most recent College Football Playoff rankings, and a win against Northwestern would likely keep it in that spot or move it higher since two of the teams above it play this weekend. The Big Ten Conference was looking to protect its own team, which was the reason for the rule change.
Indiana head coach Tom Allen expressed disappointment with the league’s decision, but he also understood. The Hoosiers had a chance to play their way into that game but came up a touchdown short against the Buckeyes.
Indiana will now be waiting for the final College Football Playoff rankings to determine where it will be headed for a bowl game. The Hoosiers still have an outside chance at earning a spot in one of the New Year’s Six bowl games.
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