In recent years, only a handful of college football teams sit comfortably at the top of the hill. You have the “little old” Clemson Tigers, as Dabo Swinney calls the multi-time national champions. Kirby Smart’s Georgia Bulldogs are always close, but never quite put it all together. The Oklahoma Sooners and Lincoln Riley’s high-powered Big 12 offense make national headlines, but as the old adage goes, defense wins championships.
As of the 2019 season, here are the SEC and Big Ten juggernauts’ national rankings out of 130 FBS teams in a variety of categories that explain their dominance:
Most Weeks as AP No. 1 Team
Alabama: 1st (122)
Ohio State: 2nd (105)
Alabama: 6th (74)
Ohio State: 2nd (88)
First-Round NFL Draft Picks
Alabama: 4th (68)
Ohio State: 1st (84)
Claimed National Championships
Alabama: 2nd (17)
Ohio State T-8th (8)
Though these two powerhouses have only met four times over their long and storied histories, all that is about to change.
Get ready for Alabama vs. Ohio State on your college football schedule.
Ohio State welcomes Alabama for the first time to Columbus’ Ohio Stadium on Sept. 18, 2027. The following year, Alabama plays host to another regular season game in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 9, 2028.
Alabama, Ohio State Schedule Home-and-Home Series
As previously mentioned, the Crimson Tide and Buckeyes don’t have a deep history facing one another on the gridiron, but the neutral site games in which they did meet were massive.
The first came in the 1978 Sugar Bowl, when Woody Hayes’ Buckeyes fell to Bear Bryant’s Tide, 35-6. Alabama won again in the 1986 season opener, then a third-straight time at the 1995 Citrus Bowl. Both squads were ranked — each no lower than No. 13 in the AP poll — in all three of those meetings.
The most recent, and easily the most exciting, came during the 2015 Allstate Sugar Bowl. Nick Saban’s dynasty fell to Urban Meyer’s eventual national champion, 42-35, in the College Football Playoff Semifinal. OSU running back Ezekiel Elliot and linebacker Darron Lee were named the game’s offensive and defensive MVPs, respectively.
2015 Allstate Sugar Bowl
Diana Sabau, Ohio State Deputy Director of Athletics, expressed her excitement for the massive series via press release:
“We’d like to thank University of Alabama Director of Athletics Greg Byrne and Senior Deputy Director of Athletics Finus Gaston, who worked so hard with us to get this series scheduled. Building a non-conference schedule with tradition-rich programs is important to the competitive excellence of our program and the department, and it is great for our fans. We are excited for both schools and pleased to be able to share in this announcement today with the University of Alabama.”
“This series with Ohio State adds another outstanding non-conference opponent to our future football schedules. We are thrilled at the progress we’ve made in securing such quality home-and-homes that will provide tremendous opportunities for our team and an exciting game day atmosphere for our fans in the coming years.”Advertisement
Head coach Nick Saban talked about the benefits an Alabama-Ohio State matchup will have on the “health of college football.” He added, “I have coached a lot of years in the SEC and Big 10 and Bryant-Denny Stadium and Ohio Stadium are two of the very best environments in college football.”
Yes, ESPN College GameDay will be there. Yes, the national title implications of this home-and-home will be massive. Yes, I am beyond excited and will have my attention no where else when this non-conference series begins.