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9/17/11 at Miami(FL)
10/1/11 Michigan State
10/8/11 at Nebraska
10/15/11 at Illinois
10/22/11 OPEN DATE
11/12/11 at Purdue
11/19/11 Penn State
11/26/11 at Michigan
In a Nutshell:
Hey, at least there isn't a single FCS opponent on this list. Akron and Toledo may not get the blood pumping, but it's better than scheduling the likes of Austin Peay isn't it?
The out-of-conference portion of their schedule may not be the toughest on record, but it's not all that bad. Miami should be a decent opponent and Colorado at least comes from a BCS AQ conference.
The Big Ten schedule is about as tough as it can get, even if "the game" isn't what it used to be.
Why They're Here On the List:
Much like Michigan State, Ohio State should make it through their out-of-conference schedule unscathed. Miami could potentially give them problems, but they didn't last year.
Also like Michigan State, October will make or break the Buckeyes' season.
It starts with a visit from Michigan State. The bowl season showed the Buckeyes to be the better team, but Michigan State had reason during the 2010 regular season to argue that point. After all, they did beat Wisconsin, who in turn beat Ohio State. Now they get their chance to prove it on the field.
After facing the Spartans, Ohio State gets to go on the road to take on the Cornhuskers in Lincoln. Welcome to the Big Ten, Nebraska!
Illinois probably shouldn't be too much of a problem, but they were only a little more offense away from being a pretty good team. If the Illini get things together this year, they could at least push the Buckeyes a little.
After hosting Illinois, the Buckeyes get to take a breather while the rest of the conference plays, then come back to face Wisconsin, closing out October with arguably their toughest competition on the whole schedule.
November should be much easier, but Penn State shouldn't be taken lightly and we've yet to see what Brady Hoke and his crew can do with Rich Rodriguez's squad. Neither should be an absolute guarantee just yet.
Number of 2010 Ranked Opponents: 3
Toughest Game on the Schedule: 1/8/11 at Nebraska. Wisconsin may or may not be the better overall team, but this one is on the road against a very tough opponent while Wisconsin gets to come to Columbus.
Potential Trap Game(s): Colorado (between Miami and Michigan State), at Illinois (between Nebraska and Wisconsin), vs Penn State (before Michigan).