Ohio State Football: Buckeyes to Play 3 Conference Games in Prime Time This Year

David Regimbal@davidreg412Featured ColumnistApril 29, 2013

October 6, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; The Ohio State Buckeyes take the field before the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Ohio Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

For those Ohio State fans out there who struggle getting their tailgating in before the typical noon kickoffs at Ohio Stadium, some good news was just announced that will surely lift your already-growing excitement for the upcoming college football season.

According to Ohio State's athletics website, the Buckeyes will be playing three conference games under the lights in 2013:

Make some noise! Ohio State will play three Big Ten Conference games in prime time this season on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. #GoBucks

— Jerry Emig (@BuckeyeNotes) April 29, 2013

The Buckeyes will play two prime-time games at home—Wisconsin on September 28 and Penn State on October 26—as well as one on the road at Northwestern (October 5).

Each game will kick off at 8:00 p.m. EST and be televised by either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

Ohio State has hosted just 12 night games in Ohio Stadium history, including one in each of the last five years, but this will be the first time the school has ever hosted two prime-time games in one season. The Buckeyes are 8-3 in home night games—the 45-7 victory over Marshall in 2010 was vacated—as they dropped three straight to Texas (2005), Penn State (2008) and USC (2009).

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has consistently pressed for more night games in Columbus, citing the specific recruiting advantage a prime-time atmosphere creates for visiting high school prospects.

University officials backed Meyer, but for different reasons. Ohio State plans to increase ticket prices for two "premium games" per year, and with this announcement, it's safe to bet that attending the Wisconsin and Penn State games will cost a bit more this season.

Kickoff times for Ohio State's other nine games will be announced much later in the offseason, but none of those are expected to be played in prime time. Because Ohio State's third non-conference game will be played on the West Coast against Cal, it's safe to assume that game will kick off at 3:00 or 3:30 p.m. EST.

Here's a look at Ohio State's 2013 schedule:

8/31  Buffalo
9/7  San Diego State
9/14  @ California
9/21  Florida A&M
9/28  Wisconsin (8 p.m.)
10/5  @ Northwestern (8 p.m.)
10/12  Bye Week
10/19 Iowa
10/26 Penn State (8 p.m.)
11/2  @ Purdue
11/9 Bye Week
11/16  @ Illinois
11/23  Indiana
11/30  @ Michigan


David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.