After receiving an offer from ESPN to play on national television and potentially in prime time, both schools agreed to move up the 2014 game at Ohio Stadium to Sept. 6 after it was originally slated for Sept. 20, it was announced Thursday.
The programs had previously agreed to move up the return game at Lane Stadium in 2015 to Labor Day night, moving that matchup three weeks earlier in the season as well to take advantage of an opportunity to have a broadcast showcase in front of a national audience on ESPN.
For both teams, the chance to claim a significant victory outside of the league with most of the country's attention on the two powerhouse programs was apparently too good to turn down, perhaps in particular for an Ohio State team that has had its schedule picked apart and is almost completely out of opportunities to impress voters on a big stage just past the midway point of this season.
That may not be much of an issue for the Buckeyes next year after they open with a neutral-site meeting with Navy in Baltimore and one week later now will face a measuring-stick game against the Hokies that will kick off either in the evening or at 3:30 p.m.
Ohio State was originally scheduled for a bye after the opener, but that off week was flipped to accommodate the swap with Virginia Tech.