It's unlikely that Ohio State will see the Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops (or any other low level Ohio schools) on the schedule anytime soon. With the current playoff structure and the importance of strength of schedule in a conference consistently maligned for a lack of it, the Buckeyes have to set their sights higher than their former in-state rival (or any like opponent) just a short drive up U.S. Route 23. In the early days of these university's football programs, however, Ohio State and Ohio Wesleyan faced each other regularly.
Ohio State's very first football game, held on May 3, 1890, was on the road against Ohio Wesleyan. While the game of football was very different back then -- no helmets, no time outs, no huddles, and a more round ball -- it was still a fitting start to Ohio State's football tradition, as the Buckeyes were victorious over Ohio Wesleyan with a final score of 20-14.
On Oct. 7, 1922, Ohio State welcomed Ohio Wesleyan as their opponent in the inaugural game in Ohio Stadium. Ohio Stadium had been built to provide more space for spectators, a proven need for the Buckeyes. However, only about 25,000 fans were in attendance for that first game in the new stadium, which was less than half of the stadium's capacity of 66,210.
The program from that game highlights some of the key features of the new stadium, as well as an overview of both teams and the series history up to that date between the Buckeyes and Ohio Wesleyan. "Songs and Yells" for both teams appear on page 29, and the rule changes for the 1922 season enumerated on page 45 are of particular interest.
Ohio State beat Ohio Wesleyan 5-0 in the Ohio Stadium home opener, but went on to finish the season 3-4, with a 1-4 conference record. Ohio Wesleyan finished the 1922 season 8-1 with a perfect 7-0 record in the OAC. Ohio State and Ohio Wesleyan have met on the gridiron 29 times, with Ohio State holding a 26-2-1 advantage over Ohio Wesleyan. The teams last met in 1932.