UPDATE 11:42 CST: Pat Forde says he was mistaken, and that Louisville/OSU discussions were not for 2013. Our initial skepticism was warranted.
Dash error: I misunderstood when Louisville tried to schedule Ohio State. Wasn't for 2013. Will correct the column. Apology for the error.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) October 15, 2013
Louisville is undefeated, features a bonafide top-5 NFL draft pick at QB, and outside of this week's game against UCF, completely without any sort of challenge on their schedule. As the national narrative focuses more and more on Louisville's lack of challenges and less on their on the field accomplishments (a storyline all to familiar to Ohio State fans), it would make sense that some scheduling news might get leaked. Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that while Louisville at least tried to set up a game in 2013 with at least one power...Ohio State.
Funny thing is, Louisville tried to get on Ohio State’s 2013 schedule late after Vanderbilt backed out of a game. Ohio State added San Diego State instead, to the detriment of both the Buckeyes and the Cardinals.
The Buckeyes found themselves in a well-known scheduling pickle, after Vanderbilt famously bailed on matchup with Ohio State on virtually no notice, leaving Ohio State to scramble for a replacement. Immediately after that happened, Gene Smith told the Plain Dealer that a BCS school wouldn't be replacing Vandy, and that Ohio State would not be able to afford to take a road game or a neutral site game as a replacement.
Later, Smith told the Columbus Dispatch that the school was in discussions with 5 schools to replace Vandy, including San Diego State, the squad that eventually was the replacement. The only other school that Smith would confirm the university spoke to was BYU, but that those talks "fell through". If the search was restricted to non-BCS schools (and remember, Louisville counts as a BCS school), BYU might have been the highest profile football team the Buckeyes seriously considered.
A Louisville source told Land Grant Holy Land in August that Louisville has tried to schedule Ohio State for the last 10 years, to no avail. If Smith so quickly ruled out a BCS league opponent on the 18th (and for all the scorn The American has had heaped upon it, it is a BCS league this season), it's unlikely any talks with Louisville went very far. Given how far in the future Ohio State is scheduled (with big games against schools like Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas), discussions with any school that would conceivably ask for a return trip in the near future are probably dead on arrival.
Was a 2013 matchup with Louisville ever really realistic? Probably not. But if both teams continue to remain undefeated, don't be surprised if more stories on attempted games for 2013 leak out.
UPDATE: Kyle Rowland spoke to Gene Smith who stated that "Louisville never contacted Ohio State" after Vanderbilt backed out of their game against the Buckeyes.