WKU Spring Game: White 28-21 over Red

Western Kentucky head coach Tyson Helton talks to reporters Saturday, April 13, 2019, during the annual spring game at Houchens-Smith Stadium. The white team won 28-21. (Bac Totrong/photo@bgdailynews.com)

The marquee games on Western Kentucky’s future schedule continue to fill up, as the program announced Thursday a visit to Big Ten Conference power Ohio State in the 2023 season.

The Hilltoppers will travel to Ohio State on Sept. 16, 2023, to face the Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium.

The Daily News has learned from a source that WKU will receive $1.8 million guaranteed from Ohio State.

“We continually strive to play a compelling and challenging non-conference schedule, and Ohio State is certainly one of the most accomplished programs in the history of college football,” WKU athletic director Todd Stewart said in a news release. “Facing a program that has had elite success on a national level like Ohio State is an outstanding opportunity and will likely bring national television exposure. Columbus, Ohio, is also less than 350 miles from Bowling Green, enabling our fans to make the trip and support us in an exciting matchup in an historic collegiate football venue.”

Ohio State has won eight national championships along with 39 conference championships, including 37 Big Ten titles. The Buckeyes have played their home games at Ohio Stadium, also known as the Horseshoe, since 1922.

This will be the first-ever meeting between WKU and Ohio State.

The Hilltoppers will face at least one team from the Big Ten Conference each year between 2020 and 2023. That includes a trip to Indiana in 2020, a home game with the Hoosiers and a visit to Michigan State in 2021 and another game at Indiana in 2022 before the meeting with Ohio State in 2023.

In addition to the announcement of the Ohio State game, WKU also announced Thursday date changes for two previously announced future contests. A new date with Alabama in 2024 has been rescheduled to Aug. 31 and a 2024 contest at South Florida has been moved to Sept. 21.

WKU’s future nonconference opponents are:

2020 – Chattanooga (Sept. 5), at Indiana (Sept. 12), Liberty (Sept. 19), at Louisville (Sept. 26).

2021 – UT-Martin (Sept. 4), at Army (Sept. 11), Indiana (Sept. 25), at Michigan State (Oct. 2).

2022 – Austin Peay (Aug. 27), at Hawaii (Sept. 3), at Indiana (Sept. 17), Troy (Oct. 1), at Auburn (Nov. 19).

2023 – South Florida (Sept. 2), Houston Baptist (Sept. 9), at Ohio State (Sept. 16), at Troy (Sept. 23).

2024 – at Alabama (Aug. 31), EKU (Sept. 7), at South Florida (Sept. 21)

2025 – at Liberty (Sept. 6), Cincinnati (Sept. 20).

2026 – at Georgia (Sept. 12), at Cincinnati (Sept. 26).

​— Follow WKU athletics beat writer Elliott Pratt on Twitter @EPrattBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.

Covering the Western Kentucky University athletics beat for the Bowling Green Daily News.