The last time the University of Cincinnati and Ohio State played in football was 1931 _ and it began to look as though it might be another six or seven decades before they played again.
But the schools announced Wednesday that they will play games in 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2006. Three of the games will be in Ohio Stadium, with the Buckeyes traveling to the planned home of the Cincinnati Bengals, Paul Brown Stadium, for the 2002 game.
The Bearcats and Buckeyes have not met in football since Ohio State won 67-6 in the 1931 season opener.
"Anytime you play another university from your state there is a lot of fan interest, a lot of enthusiasm and the two teams really get up for the game," Ohio State coach John Cooper said. "Four games in eight years will really generate some excitement and enthusiasm in the state, and I am pleased that three of those games will be played in Ohio Stadium."
Cincinnati coach Rick Minter said, "This series gives fans, neighbors and recruits of this state something exciting to talk about. Ohio State is a very recognized national power in college football and this series offers Cincinnati tremendous opportunity to continue our growth as a program."
The 1999 game gives the Buckeyes seven home games including two games against in-state opponents. They are scheduled to play Ohio University the week before Cincinnati, also at home. Ohio State has not played two schools from the state since meeting Wittenberg and Muskingum in 1928.
Ohio State athletics director Andy Geiger has tried to schedule in-state opponents over the past few years. After not playing an Ohio college since 1934, the Buckeyes met Bowling Green in 1992 and 1997 and play Toledo this fall, Miami of Ohio in 2000 and Akron in 2001.
"This will give us a tremendous opportunity to reach out to thousands of fans and our alumni base in Cincinnati and the southern part of the state," Geiger said.
Associate athletics director Paul Klaczak negotiated the scheduling for Cincinnati. He said the schools originally discussed playing only the 1999 game.
"As our discussion progressed, we felt it was in the best interest of the University of Cincinnati and Bearcat football that we develop a series which included an opportunity to host Ohio State in Cincinnati," he said.
Ohio State has not played in Cincinnati since winning 29-0 in 1900.
The Buckeyes have won nine of the 11 meetings, splitting the four games in Cincinnati and winning all seven in Columbus.