The Ohio State Buckeyes hold a prominent position among the top five college football programs. Year after year, they maintain their standing at the forefront of the rankings and strive for a place in the College Football playoffs. Their recruitment consistently secures one of the finest classes in the nation, assembling a team of exceptional talent. Under the stewardship of coach Ryan Day, the Buckeyes have reached the college football playoffs in three out of the last four years. However, despite their continued success, it is worth considering why a team that consistently excels and competes in the playoffs would contemplate parting ways with their coach. In this article, we explore the reasons why the Ohio State Buckeyes may opt to move on from Ryan Day.
One of the main reasons cited for the need to replace Ohio State’s head coach is his consistent failure to beat Michigan. While this might not be a significant concern for most fan bases, in Columbus, it holds immense importance. Being a great team overall, making it to the playoffs, and winning national championships are all crucial, but they pale in comparison to the significance of defeating the Wolverines. Over the span of 20 games from 2000 to 2019, Michigan managed to secure only three victories against Ohio State. However, in the past three years alone, the Wolverines have matched that number of wins, with two of them being decisive victories by a margin of at least 15 points. Despite the considerable success Ryan Day has achieved outside of the Michigan game, this particular matchup holds the utmost importance, and winning it is essential for him to continue as the head coach at Ohio State.
Not only has Day been unable to defeat Michigan, but he also struggles to win in important games and other significant situations. Day’s track record includes a failure to win the Big 10 since the shortened 2020 season due to Covid-19 and a lack of national championship victories during his tenure. Although his time as head coach spans only five years, in the realm of high-stakes college football programs, it may as well be considered 20 years. Additionally, Day’s record stands at 1-6 against teams ranked in the top five of the college football playoff rankings and 1-3 in the playoffs. These statistics do not bode well for his position as the head coach at Ohio State, a program that strives for excellence. To be regarded as the best, one must conquer formidable opponents, and Day has yet to demonstrate this ability as a head coach.
Ohio State’s need to move on from Ryan Day is further justified by his lack of game management skills and poor decision-making in crucial moments. This was evident in multiple instances, such as the game against Michigan. Opting to punt on fourth and one from the 46-yard line, despite having a talented offensive roster, was a terrible choice. Additionally, allowing the clock to run down before attempting a 52-yard field goal before halftime, which ultimately missed, further highlights Day’s flawed decision-making. These choices significantly impacted the outcome of the game, especially when considering that Michigan converted all three of their fourth-down attempts with an interim coach calling the shots. These examples illustrate how frequently Day has failed to display the necessary aggression and effective game management, resulting in detrimental consequences for his team.
One aspect that needs to be addressed is the lack of player progression under his leadership. Although Ohio State boasts numerous highly-touted recruits, aside from the receiver position, the players seem to be falling short of their potential. While it is not solely Day’s responsibility, as the head coach, he has the authority to choose his coaching staff. Unfortunately, he has allowed ineffective coaching to persist, resulting in a failure to maximize player development. For instance, despite having two five-star edge rushers, the team ranks fifth in the Big 10 in sacks with a meager 22. Additionally, the Special Teams unit has been consistently underwhelming, and the offensive line has not met expected standards. While not all of these issues can be directly attributed to Day, his failure to address and rectify the coaching deficiencies ultimately falls on his shoulders.
For the majority of college football programs, this wouldn’t even be a discussion. With a career record of 56-7 and three college football playoff appearances, Day’s accomplishments speak for themselves. However, Ohio State is not your typical program. They have lofty aspirations and Day is not meeting the mark in achieving those goals. Since Urban Meyer’s departure, Ohio State has regressed, and that is simply unacceptable. It is imperative for Ohio State to make the tough decision to let go of Ryan Day and bring in a coach who can lead them to their desired destination.