The matchup promised to be one of the most alluring nonconference games of the upcoming college football season.
In early September, Ohio State was set to visit Oregon, pitting two preseason top-10 teams against each other at rabid Autzen Stadium in Eugene.
Adding to the anticipation, it was their first meeting since the inaugural College Football Playoff national championship game nearly six years ago.
But it was wiped off the calendar last week, falling victim to decisions by the Big Ten and Pac-12 to cancel nonconference games and move toward setting up conference-only schedules for their teams this fall.
On a teleconference with reporters last week, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said he hoped to reschedule the game for a future season.
Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens released a subsequent statement echoing the sentiment. They planned to hold more discussions this week.
But while both sides have shown an eagerness for rescheduling the first leg of a home-and-home series, it could prove a difficult task. The teams do not have a shared open date on their nonconference schedules until 2027.
Buckeyes fans who had been planning to visit the Pacific Northwest to see their team play a football game on a fall afternoon, where they have not played in more than a half-century, will likely have to wait several more seasons. Ohio State’s only game at Oregon was in 1967.
Administrators regularly schedule nonconference games for college football teams well in advance.
Last month, Ohio State and Alabama announced a home-and-home series that will take place in 2027 and 2028. That was on the heels of an announcement in November for a series with Georgia for 2030 and 2031. The Buckeyes’ series with Oregon was finalized in 2012.
The Ducks remain scheduled to come to Columbus next season. The matchup is on Sept. 11, 2021.
The wait for a game in Eugene could be shaped by additional factors.
It is rare for Ohio State to play more than one Power Five conference team on its nonconference schedule, something the Buckeyes have done only twice in the past decade. They have booked at least one Power Five opponent through 2031.
Both Ohio State and Oregon also play nine-game conference schedules, limiting open dates.
If there’s a path toward the Buckeyes facing Oregon in Eugene before their first open date in 2027, it will involve the sides reworking other previously scheduled games.
It will likely be easier for OSU to reschedule nonconference games against Bowling Green and Buffalo, two teams from the Mid-American Conference that play eight-game league schedules.
Both MAC schools have an opening on their nonconference schedule in 2024, as does Ohio State. Smith said he hoped to reschedule those games.