Ohio State Should Boost Its Future Schedules with These Three Non-Conference Matchups

By 11W Staff on May 5, 2019 at 12:15 pm
Ohio State football team
© Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State isn't scared to play on the big stage.

The Buckeyes have scheduled a number of high-profile non-conference matchups in recent years, highlighted by home-and-home series against Texas, USC, Miami, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma. 

Future Nonconference Matchups
Years Opponents
2020, 2021 Oregon
2022, 2023 Notre Dame
2024, 2025 Washington
2025, 2026 Texas

That trend isn't fading anytime soon, either, as Ohio State has several marquee matchups set on its future schedules.

The Buckeyes typically aim for a home-and-home series, with each team getting the chance to host a matchup. They broke that mold by facing off against TCU in a neutral site in 2018, but the four matchups on the books here will all take place on campus.

Oregon, Notre Dame, Washington and Texas are fantastic matchups and will keep Ohio State in the national spotlight (and the early-season radar of the College Football Playoff committee) for years to come.

But it's the offseason, and with no football to watch it's easy to fantasize about dream scenarios. Here are some great matchups we'd love to see sometime. 


The Wildcats need to catch these hands.

It's easy to argue Kentucky benefited most from Ohio State's national recruiting strategy under Urban Meyer. The Wildcats consistently reached north and poached Ohio recruits who should've wound up on Big Ten teams.

The basketball school found some success on the football field in recent seasons, capped by a 10-3 campaign a season ago that ended with a 27-24 upset win over Penn State in the Citrus Bowl.

It's not a matchup that moves the needle immensely, but it's probably the most realistic option on the list.


It's a shame LSU hasn't scheduled more home-and-home series in recent history, because it offers one of the most exciting environments in all of college football. The Tigers have scheduled some tough matchups, but they've primarily gone the neutral site route.

That's changing, though. LSU has one of the best non-conference matchups of the season coming up when they travel to Texas in Week 2. It'll host the Longhorns the following season, and they have a similar arrangement setup with Clemson starting in 2025.

Imagine Ohio State invading Death Valley under the lights.


Alabama, like Ohio State, isn't afraid to schedule big-time non-conference matchups. They've faced Louisville, Florida State, USC, Wisconsin and Michigan in recent years, but similarly to LSU, the Tide prefer neutral site showdowns.

Nick Saban has shown a willingness to travel north, however. In 2010-11, the Tide hosted and then traveled to Penn State, sweeping the series by an average of 18.5 points.

Simply put, Alabama and Ohio State are two of the biggest brands in college football, and they should set up a series that both fan bases would love.

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