Real Pod Wednesdays: Drawing Up An Ideal Ohio State Football Schedule

By Dan Hope and Griffin Strom on February 22, 2023 at 11:15 am
Marvin Harrison Jr. vs. Georgia
Dale Zanine – USA TODAY Sports

What would an ideal 2024 football schedule for Ohio State look like? We drew up our answers to that question on this week’s Real Pod Wednesdays.

In reality, Ohio State’s non-conference slate for 2024 looks likely to be boring after the Buckeyes canceled their scheduled home-and-home series with Washington last week, leaving them without a marquee non-conference game. The Buckeyes’ conference schedule for a year from now remains undetermined, as this week’s Big Ten meetings concluded without any final decisions on how schedules will be structured when USC and UCLA join the conference.

Ohio State’s non-conference schedule doesn’t have to be boring, though, and its conference schedule remains open to a wide variety of possibilities. Given that, we each mapped out how we would design Ohio State’s 2024 schedule if we were in charge of putting it together.

For ground rules, we stuck with the typical format of nine conference games and three non-conference games, while designating home and away conference games (except for USC and UCLA) based on where Ohio State will have last played those opponents after this season. There was no requirement to keep Southern Miss and Western Michigan on the non-conference schedule, though we were required to designate one non-conference game as an away game if we chose to schedule three Power 5 non-conference games.

Ultimately, both of us came up with schedules that would likely be far more appealing to TV network executives than to Ryan Day, as we prioritized entertainment value and intriguing storylines over creating an easier path to the College Football Playoff – though we didn’t feel it should be necessary to make the schedule easy given that the CFP is expanding to 12 teams in 2024.

The schedules we came up with:

Ideal 2024 Ohio State Football Schedules
Wk Dan Griffin
1 GEORGIA (home) USC (home)
3 CLEMSON (away) TCU (home)
4 WISCONSIN (home) TEXAS (home)
5 MICHIGAN STATE (away) UCLA (away)
6 IOWA (away) BYE
8 USC (home) NEBRASKA (home)
9 PENN STATE (away) PENN STATE (away)
10 NEBRASKA (home) RUTGERS (home)
11 UCLA (away) WISCONSIN (home)
12 INDIANA (home) IOWA (away)
13 MICHIGAN (home) MICHIGAN (home)

You can hear our rationale behind all of our selections on this week’s episode of Real Pod Wednesdays, which you can listen to in the audio player above or on your streaming platform of choice (Apple Podcasts, SpotifyGoogle Podcasts). Have your own thoughts on what Ohio State’s 2024 schedule should look like? Share your own ideal schedule in the comments below.

The rundown for this week’s show:

  • 0:20: Things are still bad for Ohio State men’s basketball, which seems to already be looking toward the future
  • 5:37: Things are going better for Ohio State women’s basketball, both hockey teams and women’s swim and dive
  • 7:40: Why Ohio State canceled the Washington series
  • 13:17: It’s time to end the practice of scheduling non-conference games so many years in advance
  • 17:33: One big scheduling question: How Big Ten will accommodate teams when scheduling West Coast trips
  • 24:03: Breaking down our ideal 2024 Ohio State football schedules
  • 45:58: Ohio State shouldn’t need a favorable schedule to make the 12-team CFP
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