The Big Ten unveiled their 2015 conference schedules on Monday morning. Though the league had released 2014 and 2015 schedules last year, the slates had to be reshuffled after the league welcomed Maryland and Rutgers into the fold. As a reminder, the league won't move to 9-game conference schedules until the 2016 season.
First, let's take a look back at the Buckeyes' known nonconference schedule for 2015:
August 29th – TBA
Sept 5th – TBA*
Sept 12th – vs Northern Illinois
Sept 19th – at Virginia Tech
Sept 26th – TBA
*=The Buckeyes had previously been scheduled to take on North Carolina, but due to the changing landscape of Big Ten scheduling (as well as their existing commitment to a higher profile home-and-home with Oklahoma then), the Buckeyes moved that series to 2017-2018. The Buckeyes will need to add two dates, presumably August 29th and September 5th, to complete what will wind up being a seven game home 2015 slate.
Without further adieu, here's the now finalized 2015 Big Ten conference schedule for Ohio State as they'll enter into their second year of East/West divisional play with both the Terrapins and Scarlet Knights in the mix:
October 3 – at Indiana
October 10 – Maryland
October 17 – Penn State
October 24 – at Rutgers
October 31 – Bye Week
November 7 – Minnesota
November 14 – at Illinois
November 21 – Michigan State
November 28 – at Michigan
December 5 – Big Ten Championship Game
Though Virginia Tech should help the overall strength of schedule for the Bucks and Northern Illinois' been a strong MAC side for several years now, the Buckeyes face an uphill battle to secure any additional games of note. With Ohio State needing to add two home games with under two years to do so, the odds are far more likely the likes of FBS newbies Charlotte, Old Dominion, Texas State, Texas-San Antonio or a team of their ilk will comprise those match ups, given the relative malleability of their schedules. While the Big Ten has collectively made a stink about wanting to eliminate FCS games, in many ways it's *less* favorable to face transitional programs, like those. Particularly in the cae of Charlotte and Old Dominion, those programs are almost like college football "expansion teams", which will undoubtedly produce the sort of results we saw from UMass during their early go at it in FBS.