Bucknuts Mag Excerpts: "Planning Ahead"

In this week's version of "Excerpts," we have Steve Helwagen looking down the road at OSU's future schedules and provides some background on the teams lined up to challenge the Buckeyes. We update this story, originally published last year in Bucknuts The Magazine, with the announcement of the OSU-Oklahoma series as well as other future games.

As part of the redesign of the Bucknuts.com web site, we have added an area where we can publish excerpts from Bucknuts The Magazine. Each week, we will put in a new excerpt from the latest edition of Bucknuts The Magazine.

BTM has evolved from humble beginnings as a 32-page magazine into its current format as a 64-page magazine. It is published 10 times a year (monthly from September through April, then once in the Spring and Summer).

The magazine retails for $4.95 on newsstands. We also sell annual subscriptions to the magazine on the Internet for $39.95.

But the best deal going is our annual subscription bundle. For $99.95, you get a full year of BTM as well as access to all of the premium content and message boards on Bucknuts.com. Subscriptions to the web site, itself, are priced at $9.95 per month. So, for roughly $100 you receive the value of almost $160 between the web site and magazine.

For the time being, you also get a 12-month subscription to Sports Illustrated as well as a free copy of Steve Helwagen's book, "The Greatest Game Ever Played," on OSU's Fiesta Bowl national championship game win over Miami (Fla.).

In each issue of Bucknuts The Magazine, we have in-depth features on Ohio State football players, coaches and prospects. We also have analysis pieces on the Buckeyes as well as their opponents, the Big Ten and college football world in general. Plus, we have features on OSU athletes in a variety of sports, including men's and women's basketball, hockey, wrestling, baseball and other sports.

This excerpt is from last summer's edition of the magazine. It deals with future football schedules and has been updated with the latest information.

But first we will include details of the Aug. 4, 2006, announcement from OSU Athletic Communications:

Ohio State officials confirmed today that the Buckeyes and Oklahoma would meet in a two-game, home-and-home series in 2016 and 2017.

"We still have a few details to work out, including where the first game will be, but we have an agreement in principle," said Steve Snapp, associate director of athletics. "We want to play a marquee game every year, either home or away, and Oklahoma certainly fits into that category. Our hope down the road is to continue to add high profile games and to be able to play at sites where we have not traditionally played."

Snapp noted that between now and 2016 the Buckeyes have series scheduled with Southern California (2008-09), Miami, Fla. (2010-11), the University of California (2012-13) and Virginia Tech (2014-15).

This will be just the third and fourth meetings between Ohio State and Oklahoma. The series is tied at 1-1, the Sooners defeating Ohio State 29-28 in 1977 in Columbus and the Buckeyes prevailing 24-14 in Norman in 1983.

Ohio State also released its schedules through 2010. The Buckeyes, who have an open date to fill in 2010, will play seven home games each of those years.

"One of our basic tenets in scheduling is to schedule as many home games as we can," Snapp said. "In 2012, we hope to play eight games in Ohio Stadium."

The four-year schedule includes back-to-back games with Youngstown State in 2007 and 2008. Both games will be played in Columbus. The Buckeyes also will play a home-and-home series with Army in 2009 and 2010. The two teams will play in Columbus in 2009 and either at Army or in the Meadowlands in 2010.

"The schedule the next four years is in keeping with our philosophy of playing in-state schools whenever we can," said Ohio State Director of Athletics Gene Smith. "Both Coach (Jim) Tressel and I believe strongly in that."

Headline: Planning Ahead

By Steve Helwagen

EDITOR'S NOTE -- This story was updated with the Aug. 4 announcement of a two-game series with Oklahoma and other future games.

In 2005, the NCAA management council approved a resolution to make the 12-game football regular season schedule permanent.

The move was hailed by administrators and coaches as a way to offset rising scholarship costs across the country.

"I have been a long, strong believer that we needed more revenue opportunities for a lot of our programs across the country," said new OSU athletic director Gene Smith. "Obviously, an additional football game provides that."

The resolution brings scheduling uniformity to college football. Since 2002, schools have been able to schedule 12 games only in certain seasons based on the calendar and the number of Saturdays between the end of August and early December.

"Right now, in some years we play 12 and some years 11," Smith said. "When you look at the football season, practice toward the end of the year dwindles down. Football also misses the least number of classes of any of the sports because they play on Saturdays, travel on Friday afternoon and are back on Sunday at the latest. I've been a big believer in providing them another platform to play, but the driving force has been the money."

OSU coach Jim Tressel, a former athletic director at Youngstown State, also sees the benefit in making the 12th game permanent.

"I think there is a lot of upside," he said. "We've been fortunate at Ohio State to sponsor a very comprehensive athletic program. Obviously, a 12th game can help that. Like a lot of new things, whether I will be for it or not will probably depend on how we attack it – both as a league and as an individual institution. I think as long as we approach it right from a coaching standpoint and what we ask of our student-athletes, I think we'll be fine."

Tressel was asked how he would fill OSU's non-conference schedule. (In recent years, OSU athletic administrators Andy Geiger and Archie Griffin have handled such scheduling issues. Smith, who began his job as the AD last April, will likely assume those duties as well.)

"I always like to have a nice home-and-home going on, like Texas and we've got USC and Miami (Fla.) coming up," Tressel said. "I wouldn't maybe want to add one more intrasectional home-and-home. Admittedly, people are saying this is a financial situation. I think you can make more financially with a game here at Ohio Stadium.

"The nice thing about adding a football game is we don't miss class. We travel at 4 o'clock on Friday afternoon."

Tressel said he would not be in favor of increasing the Big Ten schedule from eight games to nine.

"I think the only thing that I think that would be hard about adding a Big Ten game is every other year you would have four home and five away," he said. "You may have one of those teams in your league that, if it was four home and four away could vie for the national championship. But if they have to play four home and five away, you could take a team out of the national picture because all of a sudden the percentages of being in the top two of the BCS may go down."

In recent interviews, Tressel indicated a desire to schedule games with his former school, Division I-AA Youngstown State. Smith said that could be a possibility "once every six or seven years."

Also, Smith said he had opened talks with Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White about the possibility of more Ohio State-Notre Dame games in the future. ND and OSU first met in 1935-36 and again in 1995-96. OSU moved ahead in the series 3-2 with its win in the Fiesta Bowl this past January.

Looking Forward

Here is a year-by-year look at some of the notable games planned in the years ahead. These games are also listed on the accompanying graphic. (Some games beyond 2009 are tentative and may still need dates assigned.)

* 2006 – OSU has announced a Sept. 2 opener against Northern Illinois of the MAC. The Buckeyes will then complete the home-and-home series with Texas when they make their first trip ever to Austin. Cincinnati, led by former OSU defensive coordinator Mark Dantonio, then visits Sept. 16 to complete a four-game deal (three in Columbus, one in Cincinnati). On June 24, UC announced a new home-and-home series with Ohio State (see below).

On Oct. 6, 2005, OSU filled its schedule for 2006 by scheduling Bowling Green for the Oct. 7 opening.

In the Big Ten, a two-year rotation will end. OSU will miss Wisconsin and Purdue for the second year in a row. (OSU plays Michigan and Penn State every year as protected Big Ten rivals.)

* 2007 – OSU was previously tabbed to open Sept. 1 against Syracuse from the Big East. But that game came off the schedule last year and was replaced by the first-ever meeting with Division I-AA Youngstown State.

The Buckeyes then host Akron Sept. 8. The Zips helped christen renovated Ohio Stadium and were also Tressel's first opponent (28-14 OSU win) in 2001. The Buckeyes then travel to Washington Sept. 15 for a return game for the 2003 game in Columbus (28-9 OSU win). OSU holds a 7-3 all-time edge, although the Buckeyes lost their last two trips to Seattle (40-7 in 1986 and 25-16 in 1994).

Kent State has been added for the Oct. 13 opening. OSU played Kent State for the first time in 2002, winning 51-17.

In the Big Ten, another two-year scheduling rotation will begin with Wisconsin and Purdue returning and Iowa and Indiana rotating off.

* 2008 – OSU and Youngstown State will again open the season with an Aug. 30 date.

Ohio U. is next on Sept. 6 OSU leads the all-time series with the Bobcats 5-0, including a 40-16 win in 1999.

The Buckeyes travel to Los Angeles to meet USC on Sept. 13. USC holds an all-time 11-9-1 edge, although the teams are even at 2-2-1 at the Coliseum. USC won the last meeting 35-26 in 1990 in Columbus in the infamous storm-shortened game. These two tradition-rich powers have met seven times in the Rose Bowl.

OSU will then host Troy University from the Sun Belt Conference on Sept. 20.

* 2009 – OSU canceled a trip to Washington State, which visited OSU in 2002.

The Buckeyes open by hosting Army on Sept. 5. It will be the first-ever meeting with Army. OSU then hosts USC on Sept. 12.

OSU has added a Sept. 19 date against Toledo at Cleveland Browns Stadium. It would be the fifth time OSU has played in Cleveland, although just the second time since 1944. OSU defeated Northwestern 34-3 in Cleveland in 1991. OSU downed Toledo 49-0 in 1998 in the schools' only previous meeting.

The remaining opening on Oct. 31 will be filled with New Mexico State of the WAC. It will be OSU's first-ever meeting with NMSU.

In November 2005, the Big Ten published a two-year rotation for 2009-10. Indiana and Iowa will rotate back on the OSU schedule, while Northwestern and Michigan State will rotate off.

* 2010 – Marshall returns to the OSU schedule for the Sept. 4 season opener. OSU edged Marshall 24-21 in the team's only previous meeting in 2004.

Prior to their meeting in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl national championship game, OSU and Miami (Fla.) announced a home-and-home series that would begin Sept. 11, 2010, in Columbus. OSU holds a 2-1 all-time edge, winning 10-0 in Columbus in 1977, losing 23-12 in the 1999 Kickoff Classic in East Rutherford, N.J., and winning the historic Fiesta Bowl 31-24 in double overtime.

The Buckeyes will then visit Army on Sept. 18. That game will be held at either West Point, N.Y., or possibly at Giants Stadium at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.

OSU has one more opening on Oct. 30.

* 2011 – OSU is set for a Sept. 17 game at Miami (Fla.), which would mark the first time OSU will play the Hurricanes at the Orange Bowl. Also, Toledo will visit OSU on Sept. 10.

* 2012-13 – OSU has a two-game series tentatively planned with Cal. OSU holds a 5-1 all-time edge on Cal. The loss was a 26-0 shiner in the 1921 Rose Bowl. The teams' last meeting was in 1972, when the Buckeyes took a 35-18 win in Berkeley.

Cincinnati has also announced that Ohio State will return to Cincinnati on Sept. 8, 2012, presumably for another game at Paul Brown Stadium, while UC heads back to Columbus on Sept. 6, 2014.

* 2014-15 – OSU has a two-game series tentatively planned with Virginia Tech. The Buckeyes and Hokies, now in the ACC, have never met on the gridiron.

* 2016-17 -- OSU and Oklahoma will play a home-and-home series. The sites and dates will be set at a later date.

This will be just the third and fourth meetings between Ohio State and Oklahoma. The series is tied at 1-1, the Sooners defeating Ohio State 29-28 in 1977 in Columbus and the Buckeyes prevailing 24-14 in Norman in 1983.


Future OSU




Sept. 2 Northern Illinois, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)

Sept. 9 at Texas, 8 p.m. (ABC)

Sept. 16 Cincinnati, noon (ESPN-Plus)

Sept. 23 Penn State

Sept. 30 at Iowa, 8 p.m. (ABC or ESPN)

Oct. 7 Bowling Green

Oct. 14 at Michigan State

Oct. 21 Indiana

Oct. 28 Minnesota, 3:30 p.m. (ABC, ESPN or ESPN2)

Nov. 4 at Illinois

Nov. 11 at Northwestern

Nov. 18 Michigan, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)


Sept. 1 Youngstown State

Sept. 8 Akron

Sept. 15 at Washington

Sept. 22 Northwestern

Sept. 29 at Minnesota

Oct. 6 at Purdue

Oct. 13 Kent State

Oct. 20 Michigan State

Oct. 27 at Penn State

Nov. 3 Wisconsin

Nov. 10 Illinois

Nov. 17 at Michigan


Aug. 30 Youngstown State

Sept. 6 Ohio U.

Sept. 13 at USC

Sept. 20 Troy U.

Sept. 27 Minnesota

Oct. 4 at Wisconsin

Oct. 11 Purdue

Oct. 18 at Michigan State

Oct. 25 Penn State

Nov. 8 at Northwestern

Nov. 15 at Illinois

Nov. 22 Michigan


Sept. 5 Army

Sept. 12 USC

Sept. 19 vs. Toledo (at Cleveland Browns Stadium)

Sept. 26 Illinois

Oct. 3 at Indiana

Oct. 10 Wisconsin

Oct. 17 at Purdue

Oct. 24 Minnesota

Oct. 31 New Mexico State

Nov. 7 at Penn State

Nov. 14 Iowa

Nov. 21 at Michigan

2010 (Tentative)

Sept. 4 Marshall

Sept. 11 Miami (Fla.)

Sept. 18 at Army

Sept. 25 at Illinois

Oct. 2 Indiana

Oct. 9 at Wisconsin

Oct. 16 Purdue

Oct. 23 at Minnesota

Oct. 30 TBA

Nov. 6 Penn State

Nov. 13 at Iowa

Nov. 20 Michigan

2011 (Tentative)

Sept. 10 Toledo

Sept. 17 at Miami (Fla.)

2012 (Tentative)

TBA California (site TBA)

Sept. 8 at Cincinnati (likely at Paul Brown Stadium)

2013 (Tentative)

TBA California (site TBA)

2014 (Tentative)

Sept. 6 Cincinnati

TBA Virginia Tech

2015 (Tentative)

TBA at Virginia Tech

2016 (Tentative)

TBA Oklahoma (site TBA)

2017 (Tentative)

TBA Oklahoma (site TBA)

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