Ohio State Cancels Major Non-Conference Football Series

Ohio State's upcoming football series against Washington won't happen.

The Buckeyes announced Wednesday afternoon that the home-and-home series between the Big Ten and PAC-12 powers is officially off.

Washington had been slated to visit Columbus in 2024 with the Buckeyes returning the favor in 2025. Interestingly, OSU will have to write a pretty hefty check to the Huskies for the cancelation.

Ohio State/Washington abruptly canceled.

"We initiated the cancellation. I have the utmost respect for the University of Washington and for Director of Athletics Jennifer Cohen, and this was a very difficult call to make. Consistent with terms of the contract, we will be responsible for the $500,000 cancellation penalty that has to be paid by February 2025. As a result of the cancellation, we will add an eighth home game for the 2024 season, affording us the opportunity to have the funding to pay the penalty and guarantee for that eighth opponent," Ohio State AD Gene Smith explained in a statement.

In a reaction to the cancelation, it was made clear by Washington AD Jennifer Cohen the Huskies aren't happy.

"We are very disappointed that our student-athletes, staff and Husky Nation won't get to experience these two games with Ohio State. Everyone has had these dates circled for a number of years and we were looking forward to these opportunities to compete against the Buckeyes. We are in the process of finding new opponents for the 2024 and 2025 seasons and will provide an update as soon as we have one," she said in a Wednesday statement.

What is going on?

There are some theories floating around the internet this cancelation is a sign something big is about to happen. There's no evidence to suggest OSU canceling its series with Washington is a sign of imminent expansion.

If that was the case, why would Ohio State need to write a $500,000 check? It seems like the Buckeyes just wanted out of the series for unknown reasons.

Interestingly, the statement from the Buckeyes did talk about a "changing college football landscape" when attempting to justify the decision.

"A changing college football landscape will also feature the newly-expanded 12-team College Football Playoff (CFP) beginning with the 2024-25 season. Teams in the CFP title game, and that also play in a conference championship game, could play as many as four or five additional games after the regular season," the statement from OSU added.

It seems like Ohio State's argument is the program expects deep playoff runs and wants to lighten up the schedule. That's just my interpretation, but I think it's a fair one.

Don't just buy every theory you read on the internet. Oftentimes, the simplest explanation is the correct one. Unless we see movement on realignment, a home-and-home series being canceled doesn't mean much.