ESPN - Ohio State is hardly in crisis mode -- the Buckeyes enter this season with what should again be one of the most prolific offenses in the country and legitimate CFP aspirations -- but the layers of NFL draft talent on the two-deep have yet to translate into a national title for Day. Back-to-back losses to Michigan have only compounded the scrutiny as Day enters his fifth season leading one of the wealthiest and most visible programs in the country.
"The expectation here every year is the same," said Day, who is 1-3 in CFP semifinals. "Win the rivalry game, win the Big Ten and win the national championship. We fight like heck to do that and we're right there. You can feel it, you can taste it, and that's motivated the guys this offseason. When you get that close and you don't get there, you didn't get it done. And it certainly does motivate."
Day has made multiple hires to boost the brainpower in the building, has considered relinquishing playcalling duties, and had honest discussions with Knowles about how the defense can improve this fall.
"When you lose," Day said, "there's damage control."
I have been told on multiple occasions that I am an annoyingly spoiled Ohio State fan. That just comes along with the territory rooting for one of the best programs in the country that has claimed the only definitive article in the English language as their own. (THE is a definitive article for those of you who cheated off the nerdy kids in English class.)
It also comes along with the territory of rooting for a team with expectations that are higher than Bob Huggins' blood alcohol level but that are 1-3 in the CFP and have lost two straight to their rival under the current head coach. Smart Ohio State fans know that 45-6 means jack shit when 5 of those 6 losses are to Michigan or in the CFP.
That's why it might seem unreasonable from the outside that there is massive pressure on Day this season. But the seat is getting hot my friends. I'm talking hotter than that every single Dua Lipa video on the internet hot.
See, very hot. Also, you're welcome.
And there better be fucking damage control after these last two Michigan losses. Because it's not like those games were close. We have lost by 33 combined points the last two seasons with the far superior roster. Credit to Michigan for seeing the Buckeyes were soft and punching them in the mouth both games.
But that is the issue at hand. You can't have your bitter rival punk you out on national TV with so much on the line. And you definitely can't have it happen in back-to-back years. That's completely unacceptable. And it's not like it's some big secret, they are openly talking about it in Ann Arbor.
The disparity prompted former Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis to question the Buckeyes' toughness two days after the 2021 game.
"They're a finesse team; they're not a tough team," Gattis said at the time, according to the Detroit News. "And we knew that going into the game that we can out-physical them, we can out-tough and that was gonna be the key to the game, and that's what we prepared for all year long."
So all those people who say, "Ohio State fans are so spoiled, you can't run a coach out of town who wins 90% if their games." The fuck we can't. Watch us.
Because the line of coaches falling all over themselves to tear up their contract with their current team would look like a Taylor Swift merch booth. This is an A++ job and that comes with A++ expectations. If you can't live up to them then kick rocks.
I really hope Day does turn the tide. I like the guy. Great recruiter. Great offensive mind. But none of that matters if you don't beat those bastards up north.
Especially when everyone knows they would back up the Brinks truck for the next guy. A guy who is an alumni. Who has won a lot of games at the highest level. A guy who players would run through a brick wall for.
Put up or shut up time, Ryan. This is what you signed up for.