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What you need to know about Ohio State's 2016 bye week

The football team gets a midseason break. You deserve one too.

2016 Pre-GRAMMY Gala And Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Irving Azoff - Show Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Ohio State football season will be here before you know it, and even if you’ve only been paying semi-close attention this offseason, you’re probably aware of the major storylines with the program. This is going to be an exceptionally young, but talented and athletic team. There’s a lack of proven production at wideout, running back, and defensive back. They return the best QB in the conference, and should at least compete for a Big Ten title.

But you may not know a lot about the specific teams on Ohio State’s schedule. We’ll get into a lot more detail before the actual games, but you may want a primer so you can sound smart at the bar, or at the barbecue, or in the grocery store checkout line.

So take a look at Ohio State’s opponents this year. Next up, arguably the most welcome (given the grind of the football season) but also the one most prone to leave you feeling disheveled and unsure what to do with yourself: the boredom of the bye week.

Wait so Ohio State has a bye week after just 3 games? Is that ordinary?

An October bye — if your school didn’t play a game somewhere like Ireland or Australia, etc — is customary in terms of earlier weeks off. November feels more regular, at least in terms of what Ohio State faithful are acclimated to.

This year though, after probably the single hardest regular season game of the year, OSU will get a week off to avoid the grind of a gameweek, and accordingly so do you.

Just after football really gets going and I finally sell my roommate(s)/significant other on going all in each and every Saturday?!

It seems cruel yes, but the good news is the rest of the college football playing world rolls on, with or without the Bucks.

Clemson and Georgia Tech play Thursday, Sept. 22 on ESPN in one of the better Thursday night games of the year.

And there are a couple decent national offerings you can probably spend your Saturday enjoying a beverage or three while consuming:

-LSU at Auburn

-Penn State at Michigan

-Stanford at UCLA

-Washington at Arizona

-Wisconsin at Michigan State

At the time of publication, none of those game times or TV networks are set. You can bet LSU/Auburn will be a 3:30 kick at earliest (and more likely a primetime affair). The two Big Ten tilts mentioned seem probably to be afternoon or later action as well and the Pac-12 games always air late. That’s a nice little Saturday of football you don’t have an awful lot of stake in.

No, this is awful. Once that person in my life who doesn’t like me enjoying football finds out Ohio State’s not on, I’m going to have to go like five Lowe’s. Please help me.

You made your own bed there, friend. If your social contract doesn’t permit you to spend your free time doing things you (or hopefully you mutually) enjoy, the level of advice/consultation you necessitate well exceed the limitations of this Ohio State-centric operation.

The good news for you is that there are only 4 Lowe’s in the greater Columbus area. Their hours of operation on Saturdays are either 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. or 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. If you procrastinate your trips as late as humanly possible, there is a non-zero chance the location(s) you visit will be closed.


I am a happy adult with tons of disposable income, spare time, and no children or an exhausted parent of one or more kids but with a really good babysitter and a desperate need for a lifeline. I would like to do something, anything out of the house that week. I’m begging you.

Good news! Columbus is a low-key pretty good live music city.

While Austin or Nashville it’s not, a fair share of great national acts make their way through town — and OSU’s bye week provides some pretty solid offerings.

Tuesday, Sept. 20, at the EXPRESS Live! formerly known as PromoWest/Lifestyle Pavilion, Beck (of the non-Tim variety) does his thing with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. Beck’s last few albums have been fire, so you’d be well served to see him span his vast discography in person.

CD102.5 Fest is Saturday, Sept. 24 starting at 4, also at EXPRESS Live! The headline is CHVRCHES, aka one of the best acts out there right now. If the aforementioned football games aren’t your thing, this is a pretty strong fallback.

While those are the crème de la crème, there are a other shows of note that week as well:

-Ms. Lauryn Hill: Palace Theatre, Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. (FOREWARNING: Hill is notorious for showing up hours and hours late to her own shows, causing them to be abruptly cut short; buyer beware)

-Nada Surf: EXPRESS Live!, Thursday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.

I am aggressively uncultured and refuse to listen to, much less enjoy, live music to the point of self parody. What is there in this for me?

I’ll avoid telling you about Into The Woods at MadLab Sunday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday of that week, but if you want to pay $27 ($18 on weekdays!) to escape from zombies with total strangers, “Infected 3” is an option Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

If you love to laugh, the great Jim Gaffigan is doing a two-night stay at Palace Theatre Friday, Sept. 23 and Saturday, Sept. 24.

The Scioto Audubon has a bird watching expo from Sept. 16-Sept. 18 or, if you’d rather eat animals than watch them, there’s a $55 Columbus Taco Truck Food Tour that might be up your alley.

Food? In September? But I’m starving now.

Fine. Be that way.

Sports. You all manipulated me into going to two Ohio State football games the first two weeks of the season and if I don’t get live sports in my life that bye weekend I’m going to turn into a murderous zombie for real.

Slow your roll. The CBJ have a preseason game Sunday, Sept. 25 — YEAH, YEAH; technically not still the bye week -- against the Blues that evening. Columbus Crew SC plays the same Sunday night against New England Revolution. At the time of this publication, the defending MLS Eastern Conference champs are a pipe dream to make the playoffs, but you never know.

What about movies? Do those still exist?

Apparently. “Bridget Jones’s Baby” drops the week prior but the early reviews are not promising (SORRY, FANS OF THE FIRST TWO). The surprise “Blair Witch” reboot will have been out a week as will the in-no-way-politically-contentious “Snowden”, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the titular role.

“The Magnificent Seven” remake and Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” both come out Friday, Sept. 23. Based on the trailers, seems like you could do worse?

You tweet too much about FIFA. I enjoy video games and would like you to beat me at it. Is that possible?

I thought you’d never ask.

FIFA 17 comes out on EA Access that Wednesday night, September 21, at 7 p.m. ET for Access subscribers (~$5 a month or $25 a year) on Xbox One (sorry, PS4 owners). The bad news is you only get 10 hours to try the game before its full release the following Tuesday but hey, that’s an entire college football Saturday, give or take.

Tweet me your XBL username if you decide to take the plunge and I will gladly dunk on you.