Ohio State football’s TCU matchup should pay off for Buckeyes
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Also, what nonconference game are you most looking forward to? Why?
— Erin Sorensen (@erinsorensen) March 13, 2018
Without question it’s Ohio State’s Week 3 matchup with TCU, which should provide another intriguing nonconference matchup following the home-and-home series with Oklahoma the past two seasons.
When it was originally scheduled, the game against TCU was also supposed to be a home-and-home series. But in April 2017, those plans evolved into a single-game neutral-site matchup at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, with the Dallas Cowboys paying each school $5 million to play in their stadium. Martin Jarmond, then-Ohio State deputy athletic director, discussed how the game came about in an interview with Eleven Warriors’ Eric Seger.
“The Cowboys approached TCU probably a year ago  and wanted to move their home game to Jerry World,” Jarmond said. “At the time they approached us and we weren’t interested. They came back again and came back again and finally, we entertained it because TCU, mutually we agreed to go there. And they were going to pay us to go there.”
For the Buckeyes, playing TCU in Texas has two benefits. First and foremost, it gives Ohio State a game against a quality opponent where a win could establish the Buckeyes early as a College Football Playoff contender. The Buckeyes’ win against Oklahoma in 2016 vaulted Ohio State into playoff contention and kept the Buckeyes there even when they didn’t win their own division. The Horned Frogs are coming off their third 11-win season in the last four years and were listed 16th in ESPN’s “way-too-early” Top 25 rankings for 2018.
Additionally, playing in the Dallas metro area offers Ohio State a chance to keep its recruiting foothold in Texas. The Buckeyes signed three of the top 6 Texas recruits in the Class of 2017 according to the 247Sports composite rankings, and the Class of 2019 also could be an excellent haul.
And from an outside observer’s standpoint, there’s nothing better than when a great team challenges itself against elite competition. The risk is great — as the Buckeyes learned in 2017 — but so are the rewards.
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