Game Times Set For Five OSU Games

The Big Ten Conference released the first portion of its football television schedule today, including start times for five of OSU's 11 regular season games. Click here for more details.

The Big Ten released its first batch of television assignments and start times for the 2004 season.

Five Ohio State games have been selected for TV dates so far, although it is expected all 11 games will be picked up as the season wears on.

The Sept. 4 season opener with Cincinnati will begin at noon and will be televised by ESPN-Plus Regional Television. A Cincinnati newspaper had previously reported that game would be shown on ESPN. Instead, ESPN will show Akron at Penn State at noon that day. The UC-OSU game will likely only be shown on ESPN-Plus outlets in and around Ohio, but would also be available via the ESPN Game Plan package.

On Sept. 11, Ohio State will host Marshall at 3:30 p.m. in an ABC regional telecast.

On Sept. 18, the Buckeyes will travel to N.C. State for another 3:30 p.m. ABC regional telecast.

After an open week Sept. 25, Ohio State's Big Ten opener at Northwestern will be a night game. It will either start at 7:45 p.m. on ESPN or 9 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN2.

OSU's next six Big Ten games have not been set in stone yet. As always, though, ABC will televise the season ending game with Michigan on Nov. 20. However, the game is set to begin at 1 p.m. instead of the usual noon start time. The 2001 game at Michigan also had a 1 p.m. start, marking the first time since the mid-1980s that the game did not begin in the noon hour.

ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN-Plus will make more decisions on its broadcast schedule during the season. Most picks are made on a 12-day advance window, although ABC reserves the right to use a six-day window as well.

It would seem likely that OSU's Oct. 9 game with Wisconsin, Oct. 16 game at Iowa, Oct. 30 game with Penn State and Nov. 13 game at Purdue would also be strong possibilities for ABC broadcasts, either at noon or in the 3:30 p.m. window.

The Buckeyes also hope they can land on ABC for the postseason.

Their first bowl of choice would be the Bowl Championship Series national championship game at the Orange Bowl, set for 8 p.m. Tues., Jan. 4, on ABC. OSU has not been to the Orange Bowl since the 1976 season.

Their next hope would be the Rose Bowl, set for 4:30 p.m. Sat., Jan. 1, on ABC. The remaining BCS games would also be on ABC with the Fiesta Bowl Jan. 1 at 8:30 p.m. and the Sugar Bowl Mon., Jan. 3, at 8 p.m.

If OSU slips out of the BCS for the first time since 2001, the Buckeyes would likely land at the Capital One Bowl, set for 1 p.m. Jan. 1 in Orlando. The Buckeyes made three trips to Orlando in four years in the 1990s, but haven't been there since the 1995 season.

The Capital One is followed in the Big Ten bowl ladder by the Outback Bowl (11 a.m., Jan. 1, ESPN), Alamo Bowl (8 p.m., Wed., Dec. 29, ESPN), Sun Bowl (2 p.m., Fri., Dec. 31, CBS), Music City Bowl (noon, Dec. 31, ESPN) and Motor City Bowl (5:30 p.m., Mon., Dec. 27, ESPN).

Regarding the regular season, the Big Ten's TV partners have identified some of the best games in the early portion of the season. They include:

* Sept. 4 -- Miami (Ohio) at Michigan, noon (ABC); Toledo at Minnesota, 9 p.m. (ESPN2).

* Sept. 5 -- Syracuse at Purdue, 1:30 p.m. (ABC).

* Sept. 11 -- UCLA at Illinois, noon (ABC); Michigan at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. (NBC).

* Sept. 18 -- Wisconsin at Arizona, 4 p.m. (Fox Sports Net); Michigan State at Notre Dame, 7 p.m. (ESPN); Iowa at Arizona State, 10 p.m. (Fox Sports Net).

* Sept. 25 -- Penn State at Wisconsin, 5:45 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN2).

* Oct. 2 -- Purdue at Notre Dame, 2:30 p.m. (NBC).

* Oct. 9 -- Purdue at Penn State, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN).

* Oct. 16 -- Wisconsin at Purdue, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN2).

Here is a link to the updated Big Ten schedule:

Click here for the updated Big Ten television schedule.

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