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The most intriguing opponents Ohio State football has yet to play

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There are 130 FBS teams and Ohio State has still yet to play 39 of those teams. There are some fun new matchups for the Buckeyes still out there.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 07 Big Ten Championship Game Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ohio State football has shown that they aren’t afraid to take on anyone, anywhere. The Buckeyes recently scheduled a home-and-home series with Alabama, adding to their already loaded future schedules, which includes meetings with Texas, Notre Dame, Georgia, and a number of other college football powerhouses. So, what is left for Ohio State when it comes to scheduling?

Incredibly, of the 130 FBS teams, Ohio State hasn’t yet played 39 of those teams. That number will shrink by four over the next seven years, as Ohio State will play Arkansas State in 2022, Western Kentucky in 2023, UConn in 2025, and Ball State in 2026. Of the Power Five teams, Ohio State has played all but six teams, with two teams each coming from the ACC, Big 12, and SEC.

Most of the teams Ohio State hasn’t played yet are Group of Five teams, which makes it highly unlikely Ohio State would schedule “home-and-home” series with these teams, but for the sake of this exercise, we are going to imagine that Ohio State could possibly travel to these locations. Most of the fun of non-conference road games is getting to check out some new areas, so we are going to lean all the way into it.


Georgia Tech

The most shocking school missing from the list of Ohio State’s past opponents is Georgia Tech. Both schools started their football programs before 1900 and have combined for 1,660 wins. How they haven’t met at least once on the gridiron is sort of amazing.

It’s hard to fault Ohio State for not wanting to schedule Georgia Tech of late, with the Yellow Jackets running the flexbone option. The Buckeyes might have been especially hesitant about taking on an option team after the fits Navy has given them in the last two meetings.

What Ohio State needs to do is schedule a road game against Georgia Tech for the same year that the College Football Playoff is in Atlanta. Why not get a test run on heading to Atlanta early in the year, then do it all again when it counts the most?


Ole Miss

Making a trip to Oxford to tailgate at The Grove is about the only thing that can get me to go to Mississippi. I’m sure I’d be the most hated person there and that’s why I’d love it so much. Imagine the contrast of all the prim and proper Ole Miss fans dressed in their Sunday bests, while Ohio State fans invade The Grove in jerseys and cargo shorts. Since Ohio State fans are experts in tailgating, I’m sure we could teach them a few things to help improve their tailgating experience.

If getting beat down by the Buckeyes in tailgating wasn’t enough for Ole Miss fans, then they could see their beloved team get mashed by Ohio State on the field. Maybe Lane Kiffin will get things turned around in Oxford, but it’s going to take a lot to beat the Buckeyes if they ever played, even if Ole Miss had the home-field advantage.


Mississippi State

If you could barely get me to go to Oxford, there’s no chance I’m going to Starkville, especially with all those cowbells. I’m really just mentioning Mississippi State here since they are one of the few Power Five teams Ohio State hasn’t played yet.

The Bulldogs have a little bit of a pulse at least after hiring Mike Leach, but who knows how long this experiment will last. If it lasted long enough to see a meeting with the Buckeyes, it would be quite entertaining to watch Leach’s air-raid offense try and find some success against DBU.

Let’s just hope that if these two teams ever do meet, it’s either in Columbus or at a neutral site. I have visions of Starkville being just a southern version of West Lafayette, and we don’t need any other versions of West Lafayette in our lives.


Iowa State

Who wouldn’t want to see a matchup between Ryan Day and Matt Campbell? We might get that in 2022 or 2023 if Brian Kelly leaves Notre Dame and Campbell replaces him, but we won’t jump into that possibility deeper since Notre Dame and Ohio State have already met on the football field.

Campbell was talked about as a possible replacement for Urban Meyer at head coach but the Buckeyes smartly decided to go with Day as Urban’s heir apparent. Not that Campbell hasn’t done a great job at Iowa State, he just might not have been ready yet for all the attention that comes with the Ohio State job.

Also, wouldn’t it be fun to see if Ohio State football could replicate the success that Ohio State basketball has had over Iowa State? Buckeye basketball is 7-0 all-time against Iowa State, including two wins over the Cyclones in the last eight years in the NCAA Tournament.


Boise State

Ohio State has nothing to gain by playing Boise State, but I have to admit that I want to see the Buckeyes play on the blue turf in Boise. The Broncos always come to play when they take on Power Five schools, so it would be interesting to see how they stack up against one of the best teams in the country.


Appalachian State

I just want a regular season schedule that opens up with Ohio State taking care of business against Appalachian State and ends with the Buckeyes opening up a can on Michigan. Show the Wolverines what it’s like to open up a campaign with a win over the Mountaineers, since they couldn’t do that in 2007.


Memphis

As someone who has been to Memphis a few times, I’d thoroughly enjoy the road trip to the 901. What would be better than sampling some of the fine barbecue Memphis has to offer and then check out what is sure to be a high scoring affair between the Buckeyes and Tigers? There’s no chance Ohio State would play in Memphis, but it’s fun to dream about.


The rest of the options left on the table don’t really have nearly as much to offer when it comes to intrigue, as well as travel possibilities when it comes to a pipe dream home-and-home series. Ohio State has done a great job boosting their future schedules, so there’s no reason for them to change the strategy they’ve shown as of late, but these are just some fun options that we’ll hopefully get to see some time in the future.