Ray: Why does the OSU men's basketball team still refuse to schedule regular-season games against in-state schools? I really thought that Thad Matta, coming from Xavier, would correct this.

Ray: Why does the OSU men’s basketball team still refuse to schedule regular-season games against in-state schools? I really thought that Thad Matta, coming from Xavier, would correct this.

I see that the OSU women’s team had Cincinnati on its schedule and called it the “Battle for Ohio.” What a concept!

C’mon, OSU, get with every other college-basketball-loving state in the country. Schedule the games that we have been longing to see for too long, unless you are afraid of the competition and sharing the spotlight.

— Stephen Carter, Powell

Stephen: There’s nothing new about OSU’s stance on playing in-state opponents — or, rather, not playing them. The Buckeyes are willing to play such games at home, but the likes of UC and Dayton demand a return game on their court, and Matta isn’t interested.

Ray: With the passing of Texas coach Darrell Royal last week, the media listed one of his national championships as 1970. I know Ohio State also claims a championship in 1970.

Yet, I remember in the New Year’s Day bowl games that year, No. 1 Texas lost to Joe Theismann and Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl, No. 2 Ohio State lost to Jim Plunkett and Stanford in the Rose Bowl, and No. 3 Nebraska beat No. 4 LSU in the Orange Bowl and was awarded the championship.

What gives with these bogus claims? Were national championships then like trophies in Little League now? Everybody got one?

— Rick Lash, Reynoldsburg

Rick: Bogus, indeed. OSU’s “title” was awarded before the bowl games, by the National Football Foundation. Texas won the United Press International coaches poll, which was still a few years away from waiting until after the bowls to award their champion. The Associated Press waited, however, and hence Nebraska is the legitimate winner.

Editor: I read (last Sunday) that Ohio State plans to strengthen its football schedule. Wow, what a great plan! So starting in 2014 or so, the plan is to get a top-30 team, a potential top-30 team, and — wait for it — a top-50 team.

Anybody know what a top-50 team is this year? That potential top 30 would be a team like Michigan State — great things expected but they stink.

All this is designed to make OSU still have a chance for a playoff spot with one loss. The sad thing is that if they do what they say, it will strengthen their schedule. So no more “keep the money in Ohio.”

— Fred Haefner, Hilliard

Fred: I maintain that any move to bulk up the football schedule is a step in the right direction. On a positive note about this year’s slate, Central Florida took an 8-2 record into yesterday’s game at Tulsa. And on a negative note, next year’s nonconference schedule is somehow worse than this year’s.

Editor: It seems I email you annually. Is your staff aware that last (Friday) the OSU men’s hockey team won in a sudden-death shootout against Alaska?

It was thrilling for the too-few fans that were there. Perhaps now that the NHL is out, more people will realize what a gem we have weekend nights at the Schott.

— Peg Best, Columbus

Peg: No doubt you’ve seen some hockey stories in our weekly Gameday+ section, as well the piece on Friday about this weekend’s series against Northern Michigan. And, yes, with the NHL out for the time being, we’ll be checking in plenty with the Buckeyes.

Editor: Just when you think basketball uniforms couldn’t get any uglier, out pop the Ohio State men’s and women’s teams. Do you suppose the “camo” effect will hide them from their opponents?

— Ron Negutt, Columbus

Ron: My advice is to keep fondly recalling how strong Jerry Lucas looked in his form-fitting No. 11. Uniforms aren’t going to get anything but looser and crazier.


Write me at 34 S. 3rd St., Columbus, 43215, or email sports@dispatch.com.

Ray Stein is sports editor of The Dispatch.