OSU to face Cal in prime time telecast

Ohio State – by virtue of its 12-0, but non-bowl season last year, and high expectations for this fall – has added another national prime-time game to its 2013 football schedule.

The Buckeyes, with three night games already versus visiting Wisconsin and Penn State and at Northwestern, now will play at Cal-Berkeley at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. Pacific) Sept. 14 on Fox Sports.

The game will be Ohio State’s first non-conference road game since 2011 at Miami of Florida.

OSU and the Golden Bears have met seven times previously on the gridiron with the Buckeyes holding a 6-1 advantage over Cal.

The Bears blanked the Buckeyes 28-0 in their initial confrontation all the way back on Jan. 1, 1921 in the Rose Bowl.

But then they didn’t play again until 1950 – again in the Rose Bowl game – with Ohio State clipping Cal 17-14, the start of a string of six straight victories for the Buckeyes. The sixth, a close 35-28 win last year in Ohio Stadium, was the teams’ first meeting in 40 years.

  • Forget OSU President Gordon Gee and his idiotic, silly and, most of all, stupid comments from December that came to light this week, everyone – especially on the Ohio State end – is making a big deal over Alabama head football coach Nick Saban’s recent rhetoric remark questioning whether last year’s undefeated Ohio State team could have beaten three of the top six 2012 SEC squads.

Of course, people on both sides of the issue are a little testy already what with ‘Bama and the Buckeyes seen by a lot of preseason prognosticators as clashing for the national championship come Jan. 6 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

Now I’ll admit Saban, a West Virginia native, certainly has some credibility since he’s won the two straight, and three of the last four, national titles at Alabama, so his opinion is valued – or not – in SEC territory, depending on your perception of him.

Saban was basically asked how Ohio State might have fared against those six SEC teams Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M and South Carolina.

“How many would Ohio State have beaten?,” said Saban, according to several media sources present. “Would they have beat them all? Would they have won three? I don’t know.

“And I think they have a really good team and Urban (Meyer) is a great coach. I’m not questioning any of that. I’m just saying that’s where strength of schedule and who you play don’t get sort of accounted for quite equally.”

Alabama went 2-1 against those teams, losing to Texas A&M and beating LSU by four and Georgia by four in the SEC title game.

For the Buckeyes’ part, they beat every team on their schedule last year, and you can’t do any more than that – although OSU had a lot of close games in almost half of its wins, including two in overtime.

This year though with Ohio State apparently gearing up for a potential run at the national championship, as long as both the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide match wins week after week, they won’t be able to get away from each other and a possible climax to the season.

After all, in the latest odds released by Bovada on Tuesday, Alabama was listed as a 3-1 favorite to win yet another national title this year. But right behind at 13-2 were Texas A&M and Ohio State, so with any luck, we may find out how the Buckeyes would do against one team in particular from the SEC on Jan. 6.

Contact Steve Hemmelgarn at shemmelgarn@newsandsentinel.com