I really don't understand all these complaints about the non-conference schedule.What are people's expectations?
Virginia Tech is unquestionably a top-tier opponent -- one of the Top 5 programs in the nation in wins over the past 15 years. If Ohio State goes to Blacksburg and wins, nobody can argue that's not a quality win.
And Ohio State has very rarely scheduled more than one top-tier opponent like this per season. Very few programs do. It's unrealistic to expect Ohio State to schedule Virginia Tech and another top-tier BCS program in the same season. I didn't go back and look, but the only time I can remember them playing more than one big-time non-conference opponent like that in the same season was 2002, when they played both Texas Tech and Washington State, and that was because the TT game was a "kickoff game" added later.
As for the rest of the slate, Hawaii and NIU are way more respectable opponents than Buffalo, Florida A&M, or any team from Ohio other than Cincinnati. Both have been to BCS bowls in the past 5 years (Hawaii the Sugar Bowl in 2008 and NIU the Orange Bowl last year), in addition to 13 combined bowl appearances over the past decade. I'd complain about scheduling NIU but for the opposite reason. That's a tough, sneaky opponent that if the Buckeyes wax them by 30 few would consider it a quality win, but they can make you look bad very easily. It's a trap game.
If you're upset because they should've given the money to an in-state opponent rather than Hawaii, I get that. But I don't see how this schedule could've been much more of a challenge.
If you're going to complain, blame the other programs in the Big Ten for not being good enough to give Ohio State a quality resume during the conference season.