Ohio State football Buck'Eyeing' The Big Ten: Maryland Terrapins

Maryland will not be playing the Ohio State football team for the first time since the 2014 season.
Maryland head coach Mike Locksley
Maryland head coach Mike Locksley / G Fiume/GettyImages

With the expansion of four new teams into The Big Ten, the conference developed a new scheduling strategy of rotating opponents, beginning with the 2024 season. Also new to The Big Ten is the elimination of divisions, with the end result that the top two teams within the conference at the end of the regular season will play in The Big Ten Championship Game.

It is with that thought in mind that prompted me to start this series to look at the other teams within The Big Ten that Ohio State will not be facing in the 2024 regular season. I am going to be reviewing these teams within The Big Ten in alphabetical order, giving my thoughts on their possible season outlook, as well as the odds that the team could wind up in The Big Ten Championship Game.

1. Illinois Fighting Illini

2. Maryland Terrapins (2023 record: 8-5)

Maryland head coach Mike Locksley is coming off his third consecutive year of taking the Terrapins to a bowl game, as the Terrapins defeated Auburn 31-13 in The Music City Bowl. Maryland has compiled a 23-16 record over that time frame, and will now be free of having to play Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State in divisional play. Are the Terrapins set up for success in 2024?

Next Scheduled Regular Season Game Against Ohio State: 2026, when Ohio State will be hosting the Terrapins. The date of the game has not yet been announced.

Key Personnel Losses From 2023: CB Tarheeb Still was a second-round selection by the Los Angeles Chargers, and OT DJ Glaze was a 3rd round selection by the Las Vegas Raiders. While losing NFL-caliber players off a roster is always something that will set a team back, no player's absence looms larger than QB Taulia Tagovailoa.

While Taulia Tagovailoa was not drafted, Tagovailoa rewrote the Maryland passing record book and became The Big Ten's all-time leader in passing yardage with 11,256 yards. Replacing Tagovailoa will not be an easy accomplishment for Mike Locksley and his coaching staff.

2024 Schedule Outlook: As noted up above, Maryland no longer has to play the trifecta of Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State on a yearly basis, so that should mean things are naturally easier for the Terrapins in 2024, right?

As ESPN's Lee Corso would probably say, "Not so fast, my friend.". The non-conference schedule is not necessarily grueling, with games versus UConn (08/31), a night game at Virginia (09/14), and versus Villanova (09/21). Lodged in these non-conference games are a visit from Michigan State (09/14) and a road trip to Indiana (09/28).

It is the latter half of Maryland's schedule that seems where the challenges await. New Big Ten rival USC will make a trip to SECU Stadium on October 19th, Maryland travels to Oregon on November 9th, and the Terrapins finish up the season with games versus Iowa (11/23) and at Penn State (11/30). It is probable that Maryland starts out strong, then runs out of gas by the end of the season...Kind of like how they have played in The Big Ten over the last few seasons, to be honest.

Prediction for 2024: A bowl bid seems certain, considering the non-conference slate, as well as the conference opponents that Maryland has been assigned for 2024. Will it be enough for the Terrapins to wind up in Indianapolis for The Big Ten Championship Game on December 7th? Highly unlikely, especially with the unenviable task of trying to replace Taulia Tagovailoa.


Look for the third part of the series next week, as we look at how the 2024 season may shape up for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. As always, let me know what you think, and thanks for reading.