Last week Coach Beals gave the ok to allow the official release of the Buckeyes 2011 schedule via the Ohio State Department of Athletics' Athletics Communication.
While I've been trying to track down as many non-conference weekend slates as possible via opponents schedules and speaking to other coaches around the country, there is one major change that what once was thought, while everything else is as expected.
In something that I first mentioned when passing the news as a potential hang up, due to finals week, Ohio State will not be partaking in the Dodgertown Classic with UCLA, USC, and Georgia after all. Instead the Buckeyes will head down to Winter Haven to participate in the RussMatt Invitational against opponents to be determined.
Though disappointing, the blow of the cancellation of the Los Angeles trip is lessens when looking at the rest of the solid schedule Beals put together for his first campaign in Columbus.
The first three non-conference weekends are as expected with the Big East-Big Ten Challenge again falling on the season's opening weekend. After that Ohio State will return to Florida, taking on Western Michigan in four games from Port Charlotte. The Buckeyes will then be in the Western Carolina tournament as announced earlier with Army, Akron, and host WCU.
Then comes the changes, and filling in the questions we had.
Instead of going to LA, Ohio State will again head south to Florida, where three games are to be played from Winter Haven. After OSU returns and the student-athletes take Winter Quarter finals, Beals will lead his team out west for eight games in California.
First will be a three game set from Berkeley as Cal host Ohio State for three. Two games are scheduled mid-week versus 2008 National Champion Fresno State, before Ohio State rounds out their spring break with the three game set at Cal State Bakersfield.
The following weekend Ohio State opens Big Ten play by hosting Northwestern. The Buckeyes Big Ten slate is as followed:
Home series are bolded.
Non-conference midweek games are as followed:
Xavier March 29th
Miami April 6th
Akron April 13th
Bowling Green April 20th
Ohio April 27th*
North Florida May 3-4th
Oklahoma State May 10-11th
Toledo May 17th
*At Ohio in Athens
As you can see the home non-conference slate is highlighted by the hosting of Oklahoma State in May. Unfortunately Louisville will not be on the schedule, but after speaking to Louisville Coach Dan McDonnell the series will return in 2012 with the two schools resuming their home-and-home series for as long as possible.
The Buckeyes will have 21 home games in 2011. There are 20 games against teams that finished in the RPI top 100 in 2010.
Here is the Ohio State 2011 schedule