Oregon Ducks

Oregon Ducks, Ohio State Buckeyes working out plans to play in 2021

Oregon Ducks

A matchup nearly a decade in the making. 

Back in 2012, it was announced that Oregon and Ohio would play a home and home in 2020 and 2021.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the Buckeyes' trip to Auzten Stadium this past season was canceled.

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But it appears the matchup originally scheduled later this summer at Ohio Stadium is still on the table.

In a media availability on Wednesday, Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith said that two schools want to meet on the field in 2021. 

"Both of us want to compete, want to play. Big picture kind of goes to where we were talking just now. Neither of us wants to change the game. It would cost us more to change the game. If we don’t play, we gotta buy somebody else in. And so you’re paying whatever we’ll have to pay and that game probably won’t be as attractive as us playing each other. So our biggest challenge is the return game. So we’re working through that right now and we will play this fall. It's just we gotta work through some details on it."

Smith added that he hopes the two programs can get the details dialed in by mid to late March. 

 

According to 24/7 Sports, one snag in scheduling could be money. Patrick Murphy writes that "Based on the original contracts between the two teams, the home university was set to pay the other $300,000 for their visit. Ohio State could have to pay a larger sum if a return game to Oregon cannot be rescheduled."

The tough part for Ohio State is recouping the $300,000 they would have received from traveling to Autzen last season. College football schedules are made years in advance, so it's not as simple as just sliding the Buckeyes into the 2022 schedule and calling it even. There are a lot of moving parts here. 

Murphy does throw out on possible fix, though: A neutral site game. 

Much like Ohio State did with TCU in 2018, the two could covert their home and home to a one-off neutral site competition. 

Oregon is no stranger to an early-season game in this format. They played in what is now known as the Allstate Kickoff Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas in both 2009 and 2019. 

Oregon vs Ohio State would be a wonderful way to kickoff the 2021 season!