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Got to thinking about who the Buckeyes have played over the years(non conference) and got to wondering when we really went to what I would call an "easier" non-conference schedule and probably asked why we did so!
Woody Hayes and Earle seemed to play prety decent teams in their non-conference schedules. Neither coach played a MAC Team as far as I could find in my research. The MAC was founded in 1946 initially so they were around.
Woody's "easier" scheduled games on paper appeared to only be Pennsylvinia and Duke the Buckeyes never lost to Pennsylvinia but lost 1 of 4 to Duke, and Duke always seemed to play us tough in the Shoe. Woody lost to Duke 20 -14 in 1955. A bitter loss as I remember it..as I attended that game.
As a credit to Woody's schedule he did play mostly tough teams in the Non-conference games...I went thru his schedule and not to bore anyone but it was full of: Washington State, Washington,California, Pittsburg,Stanford,Texas Christian, Texas A & M,USC, UCLA, North Carlonia,Arizona,Oregon, Oregon State,Colorado,Missouri Oklahoma, and Miami Fla to name a few. No MAC teams were scheudled at that tenure (1951-1978).
Earle Bruce came along (1979-1987) and the decent non-conference scheduled teams continued. In going thru Earle's non-conference games, I could only find Duke and Utah on the schedule.Earle beat Duke badly in 1981 , 34-13. He cricified Utah in 1986 64-6. Earle played such teams as Syracuse,Washington State, Washington,UCLA,Arizona State, Flordia State,Stanford,Baylor,Pittsburg,Colorado, Alabama,West Va, Oregon and LSU to name a few.
When John Cooper came along in 1988-2000, things changed. While Cooper played some real good non-conference games like, Notre Dame,Pittsburg, Arizona,Washington,Missouri, West Va, Miami Fla, USC and Boston College to name a few...the pre conference schedule started to getting sprinkled with teams like Rice,(1993,1996) Wyoming, Bowling Green(1992,1997),Toledo,Ohio University , Miami of Ohio,
Cincinnati,and Fresno State(1994,2000)
Of course as we got into the Jim Tressel tenure it all followed suite..we all remember most of the Youngstown State, Northern Illinois, Bowling Greens, Akrons, etc that filled the pre-conference schedule....so why the "softer" schedule at OSU...more money? More wins to build BCS rankings? More instate- pressure to play Ohio Teams? One thing that seems to play out--it really did not effect attendance at the Shoe....Buckeye fans love their football here.....How do you feel about the current scheduling?. Have we played 4 patsies in 2012?
Who would you like to see......for me I remember all the Woody years and the schedules.....not too many patsies....but after UAB what is a patsie? right..ha ha..
This post was edited by Bigjimmie 22 months ago
It's more about the current economics of college football. They need those 3 guaranteed non-conference HOME games for the 7-8 Million in ticket sales per game. The only way to accomplish that is to play schools who cannot demand a "home and home" series. As the "smaller schools" of older days got more recognition (aka - Boise State, TCU), they were no longer willing to just come to play us without a return home game for them.
I'm sure there's lots of BCS and "wins vs. losses" implications as well. But bottom line is the dollars and the necessity for that 20 Million or so to support all the other sports, etc.
Pretty generic explanation... I'm sure someone smarter than me can shed better light.
I am actually ok with the schedule...it just so happened that Cal was a dud. Cal was lined up as the headliner this non conference season. UCF is a decent program and you have one in state gimmie and a dud in UAB. If you want to have a chance to go undefeated while maintaining a respectable out of conference schedule that prepares, but doesn't beat you up this is the formula.....two cupcakes, a decent team and one big BCS matchup.
Back in Woody's early years and even into the 70's we only played 10 games. Even Earle Bruce only played 11. Over the years they have added extra games so it seems to me that is when we started playing the easier teams.
"Your Mouth Keeps Signing Checks that Your Body Can't Cash"
First of all, many of Woody's teams played a 9 game schedule and then it was increased in later years to 11 games. Now we have the 12 game schedule and the need for additional revenue and keeping the players healthy through a long season. Most of the better teams will only play a home and home and we need at least 7 and 8 home games, when we can get them, to make enough money to support the non-revenue sports. It is easy to string the bad teams together and make it seem worse than it was as well as it is easy to string a few good teams together to make it seem better. When you look at the recent past and see we have played UCLA, Miami, Pitt, Texas Tech, Washington State as well as Washington, San Diego State and NC State in the same year,and Miami and Colorado in the same year and also Texas and USC it is not that bad. We have Virginia Tech and Oklahoma coming up in the next few years. As much as I would like to see a schedule with all top 25 teams every year it is just not practical or realistic.
We had back to back years of Texas (natl champ), USC (natl champ), Mia, Cal, and have Va Tech and Okla on horizon. Some teams don't have ONE good non-conference game.
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