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What does SEC expansion mean for Ohio State football’s non-conference schedule

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Have a question you would like answered in Hey, Buckeye Talk __S.1__ Doug Lesmerises and Nathan Baird will answer an OSU Football question each day for text subscribers. The best answers will be shared here twice a week.

Buckeye Talk!“How the expansion of the SEC will impact non-conference scheduling is a question that I do not believe has been answered. alabama football schedule SEC schools are hosting some major out-of-conference events. Before this happened, they didn’t schedule home-and-homes as often. Will they ever schedule home-and-homes again? They will not look to escape the currently scheduled games. It is hard to believe that the top schools will want the Bucks in their non-conference schedule.

Rob, it’s NathanOklahoma, and Texas is currently scheduled to join the SEC in 2025. We will see if it holds. Lawyers on both sides have — I am certain — been racking up hours billing over the transition date.

Coincidentally, the 2025 season is also the one in which the (newer) SEC plays a key role in Ohio State’s non-conference schedule.

Ohio State hosts Texas in the 2025 season and will travel to Texas in 2026. It will play home-and-home in 2027-28 against Alabama and in 2030-31 against Georgia. Three marquee SEC programs will face the Buckeyes in a matchup that will see them go head-to-head. This is a moment when the north/south distinction will be more prominent than ever.

The expansion of the playoffs should allay any concerns big-time teams have about scheduling other top players. Two losses are currently enough to knock anyone out of playoff contention. However, this will change in the future. If there were 12 teams, I can see two-loss teams hosting the first round as 5-8 seeds.

This depends on the SEC’s choice of scheduling model. They will come up with a plan that allows Texas and Oklahoma to join the league while not adding too much difficulty for Alabama (Florence), Texas A&M (etc.).

I wouldn’t be concerned about the SEC schools pulling out of Ohio State agreements. They would be subject to huge financial penalties. However, these games will still be mutually beneficial in an expanded playoff era.

Buckeye Talk!“Whenever the beat has been discussing Jack Miller vs. CJ Stroud I have always thought about their snap counts, and Ryan Day trying to keep them even (Miller 10, Stroud 8). “Why doesn’t anyone acknowledge that it might be a reason why Stroud was receiving late-season snaps?”Brian in Madison, Wis.

Brian, it’s Nathan. I could see your point if all the game situations were equal. These snaps were taken in different situations.

Miller led a game-closing touchdown drive against Nebraska from the garbage-time bench and was the first to leave the bench in 2020. The day had to apologize to Scott Frost, Huskers coach; but not to me.

The stakes were basically zero for anyone who entered that game. It was logical to give Miller the first chance if only to show his loyalty to the game and to thank him for coming to the table early.

Stroud was called on both occasions OSU required a replacement for Justin Fields in the middle of a game. The first was against Michigan State. It lasted for only one handoff to Master Teague. However, the second came in the semifinals against Clemson. Stroud’s presence was again limited to one handoff.

Ohio State didn’t know Fields would miss one play at the time. After taking the spear to his ribs with the helmet of James Skalski, Fields was being assessed on the sideline. It was more than just alternating snaps. If Fields couldn’t return to the most crucial game of the season, the Buckeyes were ready to play with Stroud.

The context of the substitutions was a major factor in Stroud’s appearance as the lead. The reps are less important than the timing of the appearances, I believe.

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