Published: Sep 08, 2010 6:40 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 09, 2010 4:30 AM EDT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Classes haven't even begun at Ohio State, and already there's a big test.

Almost every year, early in the season, the Buckeyes put their season on the line against a nonconference football power. It's risky business when the goal is a national championship, but it's something No. 2 Ohio State — and Saturday's opponent, No. 12 Miami — have being doing for years.

During a quarter-century of national prominence from 1980-2005, the Hurricanes never ducked a top opponent.

The past two years, the Buckeyes have played Southern California. Next year, they play at Miami, and in subsequent years, there's home-and-home dates with California, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma and Tennessee.