Ohio State Buckeyes: Future Big Ten schedules released

Ohio State football found out this week who it will play over the next five years in the newly expanded Big Ten.

Next season, the Buckeyes will play host to Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Purdue and Michigan while making road trips to Michigan State, Northwestern, Oregon and Penn State.

In the nonconference, Ohio State will host Southern Mississippi, Western Michigan and Marshall.

The Big Ten previously announced schedules for 2024 and ‘25 in June, but they had to be revised when the league added Washington and Oregon later in the summer. The Huskies and Ducks are set to join next year.

The game at Oregon replaces a contest at UCLA on the original schedule, which also included a trip to Minnesota that has been replaced by Northwestern.

Dates for the 2024 games will be determined/announced later this month or in early November according to OSU.

In 2025, Ohio State’s Big Ten home games will be against Minnesota, Penn State, Rutgers and UCLA along with nonconference foes Texas, Ohio and Connecticut. The Buckeyes will play at Illinois, Purdue, Washington, Wisconsin and Michigan.

In 2026, Ohio State will host Illinois, Maryland, Northwestern, Oregon and Michigan as well as Ball State and Kent State. The Buckeyes are set to travel to Texas along with Big Ten road games at Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska and USC.

In 2027, Ohio State will play Bowling Green, New Hampshire and Alabama at home in the nonconference and welcome Big Ten foes Michigan State, Purdue, Nebraska and USC to the Horseshoe. The Buckeyes’ conference road games will be at Minnesota, Northwestern, Oregon, Rutgers and Michigan.

In 2028, Ohio State has a return trip to Alabama on the slate along with nonconference home games against Buffalo and Northern Illinois. Big Ten home games are scheduled to be Minnesota, Rutgers, Washington, Wisconsin and Michigan with trips to Illinois, Maryland, Penn State and UCLA scheduled.

When the previous schedules were released in June, the conference boasted about a “Flex Protect” model that guaranteed certain annual rivalries for each team while assuring regular meetings between all members in a four-year period.

The league is calling the newest version “Flex Protect XVIII.”

Rather than every team playing every other conference opponent at least twice in four years, they are set to meet two or three times in a five-year period.

Michigan is Ohio State’s only protected rival, so the Buckeyes will no longer play Penn State (or any of the teams in the current East division) annually, as they have since the Nittany Lions joined the league in 1993.

That was the case in the previous scheduling plan as well, although the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions were not scheduled to play in 2025.

Michigan also has a protected rival in Michigan State while Penn State does not have a protected rival.

Ohio State and Michigan have been scheduled to play every year since 1918, but the 2020 matchup was wiped out by COVID-19.

The conference also still plans to hold a conference championship game every year despite not having divisions. The top two teams in the standings will square off in the title game.

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