Ohio State adds Arkansas State, San Jose State and Western Kentucky to future football schedules

Bill Rabinowitz
Ohio State added three nonconference home games in 2022 and '23, against Arkansas State, San Jose State and Western Kentucky. [Brooke LaValley/Dispatch]

Ohio State completed its football schedules through the 2023 season by announcing Thursday the opponents for three open dates.

The Buckeyes will play Arkansas State on Sept. 10, 2022, in Ohio Stadium. It will be the first meeting between Ohio State and the Red Wolves.

In 2023, Ohio State’s home opener will be against San Jose State on Sept. 9, following the Buckeyes’ season opener at Indiana. Western Kentucky will come to Ohio Stadium on Sept. 16.

All three opponents will receive $1.8 million from Ohio State.

None is a marquee program, but finding opponents willing to come to Ohio Stadium isn’t always easy.

“It's always challenging,” said OSU deputy director of athletics Diana Sabau, who oversees football. “We want to make sure that it's a good fit for our fans, a good fit for our student-athletes, a good fit for our coaches.

“Each year, we want to make sure we have a national opponent that is exciting for our fans, and we've done that in those years. And then we need to make sure that we have balance in our schedule.”

Ohio State has home-and-home series with Oregon starting next season and then with Notre Dame in 2022 and '23. The Buckeyes will have eight home games in 2022 but only six in 2023.

Ohio State played San Jose State once before. The Buckeyes won 50-7 on Oct. 12, 2002.

Ohio State has never played Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers were a Division I-AA power, winning the 2002 Division I-AA national title before moving up to FBS. They won the Conference USA championship in 2014 and ‘15 under current Purdue coach Jeff Brohm.

“We’re very excited,” said Western Kentucky athletic director Todd Stewart, a Cincinnati native. “I would say with the exception of Alabama, it would be the most prominent program we’ve ever played.

“It’s less than 350 miles away, so our fans can get there. Certainly, to play a program of that magnitude and at such a historic venue will be a very special day for us.”

The full schedules for this season and the next four seasons are:


Aug. 31: Florida Atlantic, noon (Fox)

Sept. 7: Cincinnati, noon (ABC)

Sept. 14: at Indiana, noon (Fox)

Sept. 21: Miami University, time TBA (BTN)

Sept. 28: at Nebraska, TBA

Oct. 5: Michigan State, 7:30 p.m. (ABC/ESPN)

Oct. 12: Off

Oct. 18: at Northwestern, 8:30 p.m. (FS1)

Oct. 26: Wisconsin, TBA

Nov. 2: Off

Nov. 9: Maryland, TBA

Nov. 16: at Rutgers, TBA

Nov. 23: Penn State, TBA

Nov. 30: at Michigan, noon (Fox)

Dec. 7: Big Ten Championship


Sept. 5: Bowling Green

Sept. 12: at Oregon

Sept. 19: Buffalo

Sept. 26: Rutgers

Oct. 3: Off

Oct. 10: Iowa

Oct. 17: at Michigan State

Oct. 24: at Penn State

Oct. 31: Nebraska

Nov. 7: Indiana

Nov. 14: at Maryland

Nov. 21: at Illinois

Nov. 28: Michigan

Dec. 5: Big Ten Championship


Sept. 4: at Minnesota

Sept. 11: Oregon

Sept. 18: Tulsa

Sept. 25: Akron

Oct. 2: at Nebraska

Oct. 9: Purdue

Oct. 16: Off

Oct. 23: at Rutgers

Oct. 30: Michigan State

Nov. 6: at Indiana

Nov. 13: Maryland

Nov. 20: Penn State

Nov. 27: at Michigan

Dec. 4: Big Ten Championship


Sept. 3: Notre Dame

Sept. 10: Arkansas State

Sept. 17: Toledo

Sept. 24: at Michigan State

Oct. 1: at Penn State

Oct. 8: Rutgers

Oct. 15: Iowa

Oct. 22: Off

Oct. 29: Indiana

Nov. 5: at Northwestern

Nov. 12: Wisconsin

Nov. 19: at Maryland

Nov. 26: Michigan

Dec. 3: Big Ten Championship


Sept. 2: at Indiana

Sept. 9: San Jose State

Sept. 16: Western Kentucky

Sept. 23: at Notre Dame

Sept. 30: Off

Oct. 7: Maryland

Oct. 14: at Purdue

Oct. 21: Penn State

Oct. 28: at Wisconsin

Nov. 4: at Rutgers

Nov. 11: Michigan State

Nov. 18: Minnesota

Nov. 25: at Michigan

Dec. 2: Big Ten Championship


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