It’s happening! Ohio State and Alabama are set to lock horns in the regular season. Two of college football’s blue bloods are set to do battle. Unfortunately, this will have to wait until a little bit down the road. The first game of the series is set to take place in 2027 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, with the second game taking place in Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa the following year. This home and home series adds to an already seemingly impressive set of future games coming up. Let’s take a look at the home and away slate for Ohio State from 2020 to 2031.
- 2020: at Oregon
- 2021: vs. Oregon
- 2022: vs. Notre Dame
- 2023: at Notre Dame
- 2024: at Washington
- 2025: at Texas, vs. Washington
- 2026: vs. Texas
- 2027: vs. Alabama
- 2028: at Alabama
- 2030: at Georgia
- 2031: vs. Georgia
While Ohio State’s future non-conference schedule includes other perennial powers like Oregon, Notre Dame, Georgia and Texas, there’s just something about the Buckeyes battling the Crimson Tide that makes the future match-up with Alabama more appealing than most games.
The appeal for these future games is rooted in both the past and the present. When one thinks of Alabama, they may think of the days when legendary head coach Paul Bryant, otherwise known as “The Bear” roamed the Alabama sidelines in his iconic Houndstooth hat. Similarly, if people are old enough, they may remember the days when Ohio State head coach Woody Hayes was at the helm of the Buckeyes. Under these two men, who have eleven National Championships between them, and are both College Football Hall of Fame members, the Ohio State and Alabama programs saw incredible success in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
For younger readers, the future clash between these two heavyweights is exciting in terms of recruiting, considering the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide vie for the National Championship almost any given year. According to SBNation, Alabama has the top five-year average in the country from 2015-2019 when it comes to overall recruiting rankings, while the Buckeyes check in at fifth place. Add in Ohio State’s tendency to recruit within Alabama’s stomping grounds, and you have a growing rivalry on both the field and the recruiting trail.
While the Ohio State and Alabama football programs have built themselves up with the glory of yesteryear and the recruiting battles of today, a possible future storyline also looms on the horizon: Enter Dabo Swinney.
Yes, he’s currently Clemson’s head coach. But Swinney’s Crimson Tide roots run deep. He played at the University of Alabama as a wide receiver under Gene Stallings from 1990-1992, winning a National Championship as a player against Miami in the 1993 Sugar Bowl. Plus he was born in Birmingham in 1969. While he has built Clemson into a college football juggernaut, Swinney is an Alabama man to his core. It wouldn’t be at all surprising if Alabama comes knocking on his door whenever Nick Saban decides to retire. Clemson has a protective clause in Swinney’s contract that aims to prevent him from leaving the school for his alma mater. But Alabama is one of the very few programs in the nation that has a massive pull when it comes to both landing top coaches and recruiting top talent. Simply put, when teams like Ohio State or Alabama come calling, these people will listen.
If Swinney were to be hired by Alabama in the future after Nick Saban’s retirement, the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide will forge a rivalry that will become the yearly battle for college football supremacy. Very similar to the rivalry Clemson and Alabama have right now.
There’s one real winner if this comes true before 2027 0r 2028. It’s the fans. The fans will be treated to some absolutely brilliant football between two of the nation’s top teams. Stay tuned!