The Buckeyes have a schedule that seems to settle somewhere between easy and difficult, although much can happen before the 2014 season arrives. The purpose here is to take a way-too-soon look at Ohio State’s road in 2014, and also to check out some of the more interesting aspects of the B1G schedule.
Ohio State’s schedule starts with a rare neutral site contest in Baltimore on Aug. 30, against the option attack of the U.S. Naval Academy. It’s currently the only non-conference game away from Ohio Stadium. Should the Buckeyes prevail, they’ll carry all the momentum into…a bye week.
There’s still time to add a game for Sept. 6 down the road, but perhaps Urban Meyer will opt to keep that open date to adequately prepare for a home tilt against Kent State. The Golden Flashes will bring their brand of MACtion to the Horseshoe on Sept. 13
The 2014 non-conference highlight occurs seven days later when the Virginia Tech Hokies of the ACC visit the banks of the Olentangy. The non-conference schedule concludes Sept. 27 against Cincinnati. Things can get unnecessarily close for comfort when the Buckeyes and Bearcats dance.
Then we’ll start seeing our new friends from the East Coast. The Buckeyes will return to Maryland on Oct. 4 to open the B1G season against the Terrapins in College Park. Crab cakes for everyone! It will be the first meeting between the schools as conference foes, and we know you’ve been dying to get after those smug turtles ever since their admittance into the Big Ten. With a big conference road win under their belts, the Buckeyes will carry that momentum over into…another by week.
Play resumes for Ohio State on Oct. 18 when the Rutgers Scarlet Knights matriculate to Columbus. Jim Delany and the league office did the newbies no favors in their first go-round as full conference members (more on this later). Again, we know the hatred you're building for Rutgers. Division rivals!
The Buckeyes will finally play in a state other than Ohio or Maryland a few days before Halloween, with an Oct. 25 date in Happy Valley. That’ll make three consecutive East Division rivals for Ohio State, which will really add some spice to the proceedings. There ain’t no party like an East Division party, ‘cause an East Division party don’t stop.
Well, I lied. It does stop momentarily the first Saturday of November when West Division foe Illinois visits. With Ohio State sharing the Leaders (maybe?) Division with the Illini for what will seem like decades, the Illibuck Trophy game becomes a cross-divisional affair. Capture that wooden turtle (again), boys. You might get to keep it awhile.
|Aug. 30||vs. Navy at Baltimore|
|Sept. 13||vs. Kent State|
|Sept. 20||vs. Virginia Tech|
|Sept. 27||vs. Cincinnati|
|Oct. 4||at Maryland|
|Oct. 18||vs. Rutgers|
|Oct. 25||at Penn State|
|Nov. 1||vs. Illinois|
|Nov. 8||at Michigan State|
|Nov. 15||at Minnesota|
|Nov. 22||vs. Indiana|
|Nov. 29||vs. Michigan|
|Dec. 6||B1G Championship Game|
The East Division war heats up again Nov. 8 in the first of two straight road games for Ohio State. The Buckeyes visit Sparty, in what could be a pivotal battle on the road to the B1G championship game. The road trip continues Nov. 15 at Minnesota on the frozen tundra, in the second of Ohio State’s two divisional crossover games. It’s the first meeting with the Golden Gophers in football since 2009. That game went ok.
The final two weeks are at home against Indiana and Michigan to close out East Division play.
The Buckeyes will miss Wisconsin for the first time since 2006 and I’m sure everyone is broken up by that. The Badgers will miss almost every team with a pulse in 2014, because Barry Alvarez obviously has some photos of Jim Delany in a very compromising position, or something.
Here are a few more interesting tidbits from the 2014 conference slate:
- The Badgers have crossover games against newcomers Maryland and Rutgers, which means they don’t face the Buckeyes, Wolverines or Spartans.
- Wisconsin’s toughest conference games are at Northwestern and home against Nebraska. So…see you in Indy, Bucky.
- Penn State and Rutgers square off in the only B1G game on Sept. 13. The rest of the teams open their conference slates on Sept. 20.
- Rutgers, Penn State, and Michigan State all have an extra week to prepare for the Buckeyes.
- The Nittany Lions are also fortunate enough to get a bye week prior to visiting Michigan. Rutgers and Indiana also have an additional week to get ready for the Wolverines.
- The Scarlet Knights may have an extra week of preparation for both Ohio State and Michigan, but that’s the only slack the B1G is giving them. Rutgers’ first five Big Ten opponents are Penn State, Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin. That’s a murderer’s row, plus the Knights see the Spartans two games after the Badgers. R.I.P. Rutgers. You got all the tough games Wisconsin didn't get.
- The Spartans and Nittany Lions join Rutgers in playing Michigan and Ohio State in successive weeks.
- Michigan plays Minnesota and at Northwestern in its crossover games.