Why the non-conference schedule is so important for the Ohio State football team

The Ohio State football team has a lighter non-conference schedule. Here's why that's so important for them.
April 13, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; 
Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Caden Davis (61), defensive
April 13, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Caden Davis (61), defensive / Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch /

The Ohio State football team normally has a marquee non-conference matchup every year. For the last few years, it has been Notre Dame and Oregon. This year, they don't have one of those matchups. It's a pretty easy non-conference schedule for once.

We talked about why that would be good for them from a College Football Playoff standpoint. It will help because the Buckeyes will still be one of the top teams in the Big Ten, so they just have to worry about winning those games. But the non-conference schedule is important for another reason.

The poor non-conference schedule will also help with the Ohio State football team developing their young players. Specifically, the quarterbacks. The Buckeyes should blow out everyone in that first four-game slate. That means that the backups should get a lot of time.

That means Julian Sayin, Air Noland, and Devin Brown will get reps. Those reps are more important for both Sayin and Noland. Both freshmen need those reps against the bad teams if they are going to compete for the starting job in 2025. Brown still has the edge as of right now.

Those games aren't just important for the quarterbacks. For the backup offensive linemen, those are valuable reps as well, especially for a team that does not have a lot of offensive line depth. The Buckeyes need guys they can count on for future seasons.

Ryan Day knows this and will try to get his team to score as many points as possible early on in the game so that he can get those guys some reps. The defense has a lot more talent, so they don't need the number of reps that the offense does from the backups.


Hopefully, those non-conference games aren't a problem at any point so that these young Buckeyes get the reps they need.