1. UofM (November 24th, Noon)
ALWAYS the biggest game of OSU’s season, this season takes on even bigger meaning as UofM snapped the Buckeyes 7 game winning streak in 2011. OSU wants to prove that game to be a fluke and retake control of college football’s greatest rivalry. The upper hand in recruiting battles and a chance for the Buckeyes to ruin the Wolverines season hangs in the balance.
2. @ Wisconsin (November 17th, TBA)
It’s hard for Buckeye fans to loathe an opposing coach more than Brady Hoke at UofM, but Wisconsin’s Bret Beilema about makes it possible. Wisconsin, coming off back to back Rose Bowl seasons, figures to again be a preseason Big 10 favorite. Camp Randall stadium can be one of the loudest venues in America, not to mention the projectiles thrown from Badger faithful. This is the Buckeyes toughest road test of the season.
3. @ Michigan State (September 29th, TBA)
Former Buckeye defensive coordinator Mark Dantonio has built a top 25 program in East Lansing. The Spartans enter 2012 riding a 4 game winning streak vs. their in-state rival UofM, and defeated the Buckeyes in 2011 for the first time since 1999. MSU boasts a whopping 29 Ohio players on their roster.
4. California (September 15th, Noon)
In many seasons, this game may be considered a pedestrian out of conference tune up. In 2012 it should serve at Urban Meyer’s first test as the head coach at Ohio State. The Golden Bears are coming off a 7-6 season in the Pac 12, but will field a roster with more talent than Miami or Central Florida (Ohio State's week 1 and 2 opponents). The rest of the NCAA will be watching to see the new look Buckeyes.
5. Nebraska (October 6th, 8 pm)
Ohio State players are sure to remember the blown 21 point lead vs. the Cornhuskers a year ago. A result that would have never happened had an injured Braxton Miller not left the game to the trembling hands of Joe Bauserman. Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez is the key to the Cornhusker season. As bad as he was in the first half of the 2011 game, he was that good in the comeback second half.