To consistent winners go the night games. Or something like that.
For the second straight year, the Ohio State Buckeyes will play three Big Ten night games this fall. For the first time in school history, two of them will be at home.
Not surprisingly, the Buckeyes’ Sept. 28 Big Ten opener vs. Wisconsin will kick off at 8 p.m. and will air on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. The Buckeyes will also play at 8 p.m. ET the following week at Northwestern and at home vs. Penn State on Oct. 26.
The actual network for those games will be announced later, probably a little over a week before each game.
Last season, Ohio State blew out Nebraska, 63-38, in an 8 p.m. home game. Nebraska and Michigan State are off the schedule this year due to the Big Ten’s cross-division rotation; Northwestern and Iowa are in their place.
This marks the sixth straight year Ohio State has hosted a night game. The Buckeyes have hosted 12 night games since 2005.
The Big Ten still is not playing night games in November. TV will eventually change that — it’s the absolute boss of all these decisions — but not this year.
On Sunday, the Big Ten announced the elimination of the terrible Legends and Leaders Divisions beginning in 2014 and announced an East-West format when Maryland and Rutgers join the league. Ohio State will play in the East with Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers and Indiana.
The other Big Ten night games set for this season are Notre Dame at Michigan, Notre Dame at Purdue and Michigan at Penn State. Clearly, high expectations for Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes extend beyond Columbus and surrounding areas.