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Expectations high for Ryan Day as he replaces Urban Meyer

The Buckeyes’ first-year head coach has big shoes to fill.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Media Days Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

“Ohio State is one of the few programs for which every loss is an all-caps BREAKING NEWS story. It is always going to be a high-upside, high-stress job, and in following in Urban Meyer’s footsteps, Day takes the job at maybe its highest stress and highest upside.”

- Bill Connelly, ESPN

For the vast majority of college football programs, a change at head coach signals a massive shift. It is usually a sign that large-scale transformations must be made in order to flip the script and return to relevance within the CFB landscape. In most cases, a new head coach will be given a pretty forgiving grace period to make adjustments and develop their new team into a contender. None of these things are true at Ohio State, where Ryan Day will step into one of the toughest jobs in Division I athletics.

For starters, Day is inheriting some enormous shoes to fill, as Urban Meyer retired one of the most successful coaches in Ohio State and college football history. An 83-9 record with the Buckeyes, Meyer brought home a National Championship in 2014, as well as three Big Ten titles and a perfect 7-0 record against Michigan. All of these accomplishments are not just forgotten with Meyer’s retirement, and will be expected from Day as well.

The talent remains on the roster to compete for both conference and national titles, and as always the expectation of defeating the Wolverines (which OSU has done in 14 of the last 15 meetings) will be one of the biggest focuses among the fanbase and coaching staff alike. The Buckeyes have been right on the cusp of the College Football Playoff landscape each of the past few years, and should be able to make a push this season with a few small adjustments given the level of talent on the roster.

The margin for error as the head coach at Ohio State is incredibly slim. As Connelly mentions in his article, every and any loss for the Buckeyes is a shocking national headline. Day is taking over a team where the expectation every single Saturday is a win, regardless of the opponent. Of the 27 first-year FBS coaches this season, Day is the only one Connelly labeled with the potential to contend for a national title. There will be no time for easing into this role, as the first-year head coach will look to bring another National Championship back to Columbus.

“Nearly one week later, the Bearcats are the beneficiaries of the NCAA’s never-ending benevolence yet again as the Bearcats announced that L’Christian “Blue” Smith has been granted a waiver for immediate eligibility by The Association.”

- John Taylor, NBC Sports

L’Christian Smith came to Ohio State as a four-star recruit as part of the program’s No. 2 nationally-ranked recruiting class in 2018. As the No. 4 player in the state of Ohio and No. 5 wide receiver in the nation, the 6-foot-4, 220 pound receiver was highly touted. While his physical tools made him an intriguing part of the Buckeyes’ future plans, he had a bit of a tough time acclimating to the college game at first. As a result, he fell behind in the depth chart, and with guys like Parris Campbell, Terry McLaurin and Johnnie Dixon eating up the majority of the snaps, Smith never had a chance at any real playing time.

After playing in three games his freshman season, Smith ultimately donned the redshirt. He did not register any stats in the 2018 season, and eventually elected to transfer having not caught a single pass as a member of the Buckeyes. Two months later, Smith would commit to Cincinnati, where he has since been granted a waiver for immediate eligibility. Smith will now get a chance to matchup against his former teammates when Ohio State takes on the Bearcats in Columbus on Sept. 7.

Former Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa has been tearing it up for the San Francisco 49ers in training camp. The younger brother of Joey Bosa, some scouts have even began to speculate that Nick may end up being better than his already dominant older brother. The only thing that could hold him back in his rookie season is his health, which appears to have hit another snag.

According to Rob Lowder of SB Nation, Bosa looked to have injured his lower right leg/ankle on the practice field on Wednesday afternoon, and was down for a few minutes. He was able to walk off on his own power, but did so gingerly. While the injury does not appear serious, Bosa was removed from practice for the day, as the 49ers would prefer to be cautious with their potential star rookie.

Bosa is no stranger to injuries, as a core muscle injury forced him to miss all but three games in his final season at Ohio State. In fact, both he and Joey have both suffered with the injury bug over the course of their careers. However, if this year’s No. 2 pick in the draft can manage to stay healthy, he should be poised for a monster season in San Francisco.

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