University of Washington

Ohio State And Washington Drop Future Football Series

COLUMBUS – The changing landscape of college football continues to roll on as the Big Ten gets ready to welcome USC and UCLA and the SEC is ready to welcome Texas and Oklahoma in the 2024 season. With all this movement, future series already announced can be in jeopardy and in the case of a home-and-home with Washington, future series will ultimately get canceled as this one has.

Ohio State announced on Wednesday that its 2024-25 series with the University of Washington has been canceled as the Buckeyes move into a 16-team (for now) Big Ten and a 12-team College Football Playoff world.

“We initiated the cancellation,” Gene Smith, Senior Vice President and Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletic Director, said. “I have the utmost respect for the University of Washington and for Director of Athletics Jennifer Cohen, and this was a very difficult call to make.”

This series was initially announced in 2017, 10 years after the last time these two teams played in the regular season with a 33-14 Ohio State win in Seattle. Ohio State holds a 9-3 edge in the series and the two teams last played in the Rose Bowl on January 1st, 2019, a 28-23 Ohio State win in Urban Meyer’s final game as Ohio State’s head coach.

Since it was Ohio State asking to cancel the series, the Buckeyes will be on the hook for a sizable cancellation fee.

“Consistent with terms of the contract, we will be responsible for the $500,000 cancellation penalty that has to be paid by February 2025,” Smith added. “As a result of the cancellation, we will add an eighth home game for the 2024 season, affording us the opportunity to have the funding to pay the penalty and guarantee for that eighth opponent.”

Ohio State’s 2024 non-conference schedule now holds games with Southern Miss and Western Michigan as Ohio State looks to fill that extra date, tentatively set for September 14th. An additional home game will give the Buckeyes eight in the 2024 schedule if the Big Ten maintains its alternating nine-game schedule as Ohio State only has four home league games in the 2023 schedule.

The Buckeyes will also have a non-conference schedule in 2025 that includes home games against Texas and UConn. Ohio State could end up with only four home conference games that season to go along with three home non-conference games if trends hold.

Add to the mix the fact that the Big Ten is going to get a lot more geographically diverse starting in 2024 with games potentially at USC and UCLA and it makes sense for the Buckeyes to look to pull back some on the scheduling. The Big Ten has made no indications what scheduling will look like starting with the 2024 season, if there will be divisions and what may become of permanent rivals.

Add to the mix the chance that the Big Ten is not done in its expansion plans. There has been talk that the Big Ten could look to add schools like Oregon and Washington in the future. No move will likely be made as Kevin Warren is in the lame duck position as Big Ten commissioner before he leaves for the Chicago Bears and the conference looks to add a new commissioner.

But it does bring up the very real chance that Ohio State and Washington could resume the series at some point down the road as conference mates, but there is a lot of ground to cover before that become the case, as the Pac-12 continues to look to bolster its ranks and lock down its own media rights deal before any other teams depart.

We will have more on this breaking news on Thursday on the Big Me Kickoff podcast.

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