Ohio State to pay big buyout for canceled 2025 UConn football game

By Kevin Kelley -

On Monday, the Ohio State Buckeyes announced that they had canceled their home football game against the UConn Huskies that was scheduled for Oct. 18, 2025.

The cancellation of the Ohio State-UConn football game in 2025 was mutual, per the announcement. According to the copy of the contract for the contest, the Buckeyes were set to pay the Huskies a $1.95 million guarantee for playing the game.

Per a copy of the cancellation letter created by Ohio State University and obtained from the University of Connecticut via a public records request, Ohio State has agreed to pay UConn $650,000 in liquidated damages for the termination of the contract. The payment is “full and final, and resolves all financial obligations contemplated under the Agreement,” per the letter. The letter was signed by UConn on May 23, 2024.

If you’re keeping score at home, that buyout is one-third, or 33.3%, of the original guarantee amount.

To replace that the UConn contest, Ohio State has added a home game against the Grambling State Tigers on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2025. Grambling State University, located in Grambling, La., is a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) in the FCS.

It’s not clear why the Ohio State-UConn contest was canceled, but Grambling State was happy to fill the void and play on a big stage against the Buckeyes.

“This is another example of us being able to showcase our brand to a national audience,” Grambling State Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Travyean D. Scott said in a release on Monday. “We are thrilled that our players and fans will get to experience a matchup between two of the most storied football programs in the country. When you think of college football, Grambling State and Ohio State are two of the names that many think of immediately.  This contest will allow our both fan bases to experience the cultural and athletic excellence of both institutions.”

Ohio State opens the 2025 season at home against the Texas Longhorns on Aug. 30 and will then host the Ohio Bobcats two weeks later on Sept. 13.

The Big Ten slate of opponents for Ohio State in 2025 is also set. Ohio State will host Minnesota, Penn State, Rutgers, and UCLA and will travel to take on Illinois, Michigan, Purdue, Washington, and Wisconsin.

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Comments (13)

I am not sure why you would cancel a game against a 3-9 team in 2023. I do not think they are worreied about a Jim Mora turn around. Grambling was 5-6 in 2023 and probably not much different than U-Conn.

My guess as to why Ohio State would want to replace UConn with Grambling on their 2025 schedule:

There will be a strength of schedule component used as part of rating or ranking contenders for places in the college football playoff. The SOS calculation will include all games against FBS teams, but will not include games against FCS teams. Thus, taking a weak FBS team off the schedule will improve Ohio State’s strength of schedule for 2025, and adding FCS Grambling won’t hurt strength of schedule because FCS opponents will be excluded from the SOS calculation.

Looks like a chance to virtue signal by playing an HBCU. Like how Notre Dame and UCLA did when they popped their FCS cherry.

Sending UConn further into irrelevancy.
Their only rescue will come when Clemson and FSU find the magic ACC exit. UConn overall would be great in the ACC with Duke, Pitt, Syracuse, Cal, Stanford, and whomever else would be left.
Kudos to OSU for playing an HBCU! If the money is to flow to FCS, at least have some social benefit to it…

It depends on who else gets stolen from the ACC. They may lose 6-8 teams.

If that’s the case uconn will be better off in BE still unless they will take them for football only.

Sure David, because none of the other FCS schools provide any social benefit whatsoever.

I would like to see Notre Dame-USC rivalry to play in September beginning next year 2025 plus I am A Fan of Big Ten playing OOC games in September.

Ohio State cancelling UConn will not be only one to do it so will Iowa with UMass.

This is My educated guess for Iowa Hawkeyes 2025 OOC Football schedule.

8/30 Northern Iowa(FCS)

9/6 at Iowa State

9/20 Florida Atlantic

I don’t understand from UConn’s perspective why UConn would agree to cancel this. I think Ohio State was free to cancel even if UConn didn’t agree to it. So I wonder if Ohio State just agreed to use the language of “mutually agreed to cancel” to try to help UConn save face.

A team like UConn needs money and it seems like they would want at least one buy game in a season where they go play on the road against a power team for a big payday. UConn as of now has not announced any other game like that on 2025 schedule.

As an independent, UConn is always trying to get favors to fill late season dates. Ohio State agreeing to that nonconference game in mid-October was a favor to UConn. I surmise that Ohio State decided they didn’t really want that approach of an October non-conference game and wanted to play their non-conference games out of the way early. UConn’s schedule was already full in the early weeks. So Ohio State cancels and finds Grambling.

2025 is still a year away but in football scheduling that is right around the corner.

It seems like it will be tough with just one year left for UConn to find FBS games that match their open late season dates (October or November). Plus UConn already has 2 FCS teams on their 2025 schedule. They surely wouldn’t put a 3rd FCS game on the schedule, would they?

Caleb in 2025 the game against Delaware will be an FBS game. So, they have only one FCS scheduled. Still, you are on point about scheduling a couple of late season games being difficult.

Great for Grambling and good on THE Ohio St University for granting such an historic program priceless exposure