The Ohio State Buckeyes were expecting to kick off their 2013 run at a national title with a matchup against the SEC's Vanderbilt Commodores. But now Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith must scramble to find a new opponent for the Buckeyes' season opener, as Vanderbilt notified Ohio State on Thursday that they were backing out of their planned game.
Ohio State and Vanderbilt had signed an agreement to play on Sept, 15 2010. The Commodores would have been paid $1.2 million to visit Ohio Stadium. They will not incur any sort of penalty for backing out, because this was not set to be a home-and-home series.
Smith was displeased with how Vanderbilt handled the situation, preferring a phone call as opposed to the letter he received. Gene smith said that he was "very disappointed that it happened this way." He added that Northwestern also was displeased with how Vanderbilt backed out of its planned two-game series with the Wildcats in 2013 and 2014. "We have 11 months, and we didn't get a phone call, we just got a letter. So I'm very disappointed in that. I would have preferred a phone call as opposed to a form letter, but that's just the way it is."
Because of the late nature of the cancellation, Smith said that the replacement opponent will not be a BCS team. That's certainly disappointing for a Buckeyes team that was hoping to open their first season under Urban Meyer without a postseason ban against a high profile school.