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Vanderbilt backs out of 2013 Ohio State season opener

Ohio State will have to scramble with the Commodores backing out of next year's season opener with just 11 months to go.

Exactly how we feel, Coach Franklin.
Exactly how we feel, Coach Franklin.
Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

So much for Ohio State playing an SEC team north of the Mason-Dixon Line, particularly in the regular season.

While many folks have been expecting to open what could be a potential national championship appearance run year with one of the SEC's fastest risers, Ohio State announced in a release Thursday afternoon that Vanderbilt had notified them in a letter their intent of canceling next year's season opener for both teams. This on the heels of Vanderbilt canceling a home-and-home in 2013 & 2014 with Northwestern earlier in the same day.

So where does Ohio State go for here? With not a lot of time left to go, and Ohio State wanting to play BCS conference caliber opposition moving forward, that may be a difficult (if not impossible) proposition. Expect the Buckeyes to sync up with a MAC, Sun Belt, or other non-BCS conference team on the same vacated date (8/31/13) accordingly.

Here are the teams with open dates that week: BYU, West Virginia (though this is all but impossible as they already have another neutral site game scheduled and need another home game), Tulane, Washington State, Kansas, Southern Miss, UTEP, FIU, North Texas, BC, Duke, NC State, Virginia, and Wake Forest. And then of course there's the teams of the Football Championship Subdivision though Gene Smith's previous comments would seem to leave those as a last resort.