Ohio State, I’m convinced, will never actually play Boston College in the game of football ever again.
This titanic matchup has happened thrice in human history, with the Buckeyes coming out on top every time. The most recent battle between the two teams occurred in 1995, where Ohio State thumped Boston College 38-6 in the Kickoff Classic in the Meadowlands, but that might as well have been contested by Amenhotep and Hatshepsut because much of it has faded from living memory here in the 21st century.
And yet, in their arrogance, the athletic administration of the Ohio State University and Boston College have sought to defy fate by once again attempting to schedule a home and home contest between their football teams, a game that has already been delayed countless (three) times. It will now theoretically be played in 2035 and 2036 (or at least, until it is delayed again until sometime in the 2200’s).
Here is a list of things that will happen by 2036:
John Spartan and Simon Phoenix are revived and cause havoc, probably in response to all restaurants becoming Taco Bells
Robots rebel against their human oppressors, forcing them to pay the robots an $8.25/hr minimum wage
All sports are amalgamated into one singular game, which is basically just ping pong on stilts played with a beach ball
Ray Kurzweil releases his new book “No Wait, I Got It This Time” and predicts that someone will give him money for doing basically nothing but getting nerds’ hopes up
Ryan Day and Jeff Hafley, now decrepit with age as they approach their late 50’s, forget that they were supposed to play a football game against one another, which is fine because they merged into one entity like Krang from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sometime in the late 2020’s
I don’t know why these games take so long to schedule, or to play. That BC kept getting bumped isn’t some mystery; Ohio State’s future schedule is pretty packed, and no disrespect to the Golden Eagles but home-and-homes against the likes of Texas, Georgia, and Alabama brings slightly more national attention than Hafley’s valiant attempt to win more than six games in a season.
But Ohio State won’t play Georgia until 2030, and by then I’m fairly sure that the body of Kirby Smart will be carrying the brain of Kirby Smart in a jar, reanimated by the dark arts of cackling octogenarian Nick Saban. Who, it should be noted, just two years before would be able to watch the Crimson Tide lose the second of their home-and-home games against the Buckeyes from the comfort of his lair/retirement home.
Or will they?!? Because that Georgia home-and-home, which won’t be witnessed by the current Uga because he’ll be long dead, was also canceled once a decade ago for even further scheduling concerns, so who the hell knows if Alabama could be on the chopping block at some point in the future.
If football exists after the coming NIL wars wipe out the Sun Belt and most of the MAC, it would behoove these marquee football programs to get a freaking move on with their scheduling. COVID has exposed some of the underlying structural issues that the sport has in its current iteration, but even something like NIL might have repercussions on the future viability of these games. I might have some personal hot takes about NIL that amount to “it’s actually working as intended and is totally fine,” but it’s also entirely possible that college football fans as a whole might not have the same cheery outlook that I do and could turn off the TV as a result.
A sport in flux needs to maintain inertia.
And while throwing two million dollars at Kent State might seem like a good way to accomplish that to Gene Smith and company, I disagree!
The bottom line is that college football needs to find a way to be much more flexible with scheduling, particularly when it comes to top-tier programs playing against each other out of conference. Worries about positioning for the College Football Playoff or just hoping that your goofy mega-conference will permanently give you all the prestige you need will eventually be rendered moot if no one is in the stands to watch you take down Hapless A&M for the 33rd time since the 90’s.
Plus, with the obvious exception of the Buckeyes (a football program powered by the collective Borg-like hive mind of angry Ohioans), there’s really no telling which of these programs might be any good in a decade’s time. I’m sure that there were a number of guys who still wear Members Only jackets that were really excited about a new matchup with the Washington Huskies (starting in 2024) when it was announced sometime after the Treaty of Versailles, but now they’re bad, and will probably continue to be bad. It should also be noted that this is the exact same thing that happened the last time the two teams decided to meet up.
One thing that you can be reasonably confident in is Ohio State football actually, factually playing Notre Dame in the upcoming college football regular season. It’s got a narrative, it’s got drama, and it has implications for the rest of the sport nationally. That’s a big time game against a big time name that should actually be some form of competent in the Year of Our Lord two thousand and twenty-two.
For fans of teams like Ohio State, they should be assured of at least one game like that per year, and it shouldn’t take a decade of crossed fingers to make it happen.