Even after the last two seasons — when we wrapped up a home-and-home against Southern Cal and started one against Miami — I continue to hear about Ohio State’s weak football schedule.

There are two things to point out here. First, the Big Ten finished the regular season with three Top 10 teams, and the conference has eight teams playing bowl games, seven of which will play on New Year’s Day or later. Like any conference — including the SEC, which plays more than its share of 1-AA opponents every year — we have our weaknesses, but that’s a good sign that the conference schedule is becoming solid.

And then there’s this, the apparent announcement of a home-and-home series with Georgia down the road. For anyone who’s not keeping track on their own, here’s what the non-conference schedule offers for the next decade or so:

  • 2012-13: Cal
  • 2014-15: Virgina Tech
  • 2016-17: Oklahoma
  • 2018-19: Tennessee
  • 2020-21: Georgia

Also consider that starting this fall, Nebraska (No. 17 in the AP, playing in the Holiday Bowl this week) is added to the conference schedule.

And then if you want to talk about weak schedules? Feel free to kiss my ass.

2 Responses to “weak.”

  1. 1 Large
    December 29, 2010 at 11:23 am

    UC, I don’t believe in scheduling any tough non-conference teams, and here’s why. It’s extremely difficult to go undefeated in a major conference. There are only a couple of seasons in the last two decades where there were 3 undefeated major conference teams at the end of the season. So, undefeated = championship game participation, regardless of who is on the non-conference schedule. Scheduling is only used to split hairs amongst 1 loss teams, and their positions are usually determined by who lost earliest in the season giving time to recover in the polls. Take this year’s participants in the BCS championship game. OU’s toughest non-conference test was 6-6 Tennessee. And, Auburn’s was 6-6 Clemson. OU and Auburn scored over 52 points on each of the other 5 non-conf teams that they played. That’s not exactly taxing yourself out-of-conference. So, bring on the cupcakes and the W’s.

    • December 29, 2010 at 11:44 am

      Because of Ohio State’s requirement of seven home games per season — necessary to maintain the football program’s share of the massive athletics department budget — there will always be cupcakes on the schedule. I’ve said before that I like the rotation of Ohio’s Mid-American Conference members, because it keeps that money in-state; the MAC schools also provide for a much better — albeit unofficial — strength of schedule component when poll voters are making up their minds.

      And yes, we need to continue to think about strength of schedule. Even though it was removed as an official component of the BCS computers’ calculations a few years ago, no one will ever be able to convince me that poll voters don’t think about the strength of a team’s opponents when they write up their ballots each week.

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2017 schedule

Aug. 31: vs. at Indiana, 8 p.m.
Sept. 9: Oklahoma, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 16: Army, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 23: UNLV
Sept. 30: at Rutgers
Oct. 4: at Maryland
Oct. 7: Maryland
Oct. 14: at Nebraska
Oct. 28: Penn State, 3:30 p.m.
Nov. 4: at Iowa
Nov. 11: Michigan State
Nov. 18: Illinois
Nov. 22: Indiana
Nov. 25: at Team Up North, noon
Dec. 2: B1G Championship, 8 p.m.

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