Ohio State found out Tuesday that it will play three prime-time, nationally televised games during the 2014 football season, and that number is likely to increase by two.
ABC/ESPN announced its six 8 p.m. broadcasts involving Big Ten teams, and Ohio State will appear on three of them. ESPN will carry the Buckeyes’ home opener Sept. 6 against Virginia Tech. ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 will televise the Oct. 25 game at Penn State and the Nov. 1 home game against Illinois.
ABC/ESPN have until July 1 to finalize their college football telecasts, and the Ohio State-Michigan State game Nov. 8 in East Lansing could very well be added to the schedule.
“We were asked if we were OK with that game being at night, and the answer was yes,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said.
Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis is out of the country on vacation and could not be reached.
The Spartans ruined Ohio State’s perfect season and ended the Buckeyes’ national championship dreams with a 34-24 victory in last year’s Big Ten championship game.
The Big Ten Network will reveal its schedule of prime-time games next Tuesday, and the Buckeyes are expected to be showcased. Of the potential games BTN could choose, the Buckeyes’ game against Cincinnati on Sept. 27 would likely have the most appeal.
The only other 2014 game whose start time has been set is the Aug. 30 opener vs. Navy in Baltimore. That game will start at noon.
Ohio State is 39-22 in games that start after 5 p.m.
Ohio State has never played more than two home games at night in one season. But coach Urban Meyer is a proponent of having prime-time games because of the atmosphere at Ohio Stadium and the advantages such games present for recruiting.