Ohio State fans live in the extremes, whether good or bad. As they say, we have no chill. So, I am going to give voice to those passionate opinions by running through my completely level-headed, not-at-all over-the-top, 100% unbiased takeaways from Saturday’s loss over That Team Up North.
Clean house, start over with a new coaching staff
I very well might come down from this fevered pitch in time, but right now, minutes after The Game has ended, it is clear that Ohio State’s coaching staff is almost uniformly in over its head. They have relied on talent to carry them for multiple seasons — which is generally something that I support — but the talent has had to overcome scared, stubborn, and short-sighted coaching.
Is the team better than it was last season? I mean, I guess, but not nearly as good as they should be with the collection of talent that they have. This game felt like nearly every other big game during the Ryan Day tenure as head coach; out-coached, unprepared, scared. If you remove the Sugar Bowl following the 2020 season against Clemson, I’m not sure there has been a marquee game in which OSU had the better coaching performance.
Saying that Ryan Day and his staff should be fired still feels like a massive overreaction — even for me — given all of the success he’s had in four years, but when you have the type of talent that the Buckeyes do, the level of expectations is higher than most programs.
Winning 10 or 11 games per season is a monumental success for most teams, but when you have the inherent advantages that Ohio State does and you simply feast on the also-rans on your schedule and go full turtle against the opponents on your level, that is more than a problem; it is unacceptable at a school like Ohio State.
The offensive guru moniker that has been tagged on Day has clearly worn off. I’ve been saying it for nearly a year now — much to the dismay of a lot of Buckeye fans — but your head coach should not be your play caller; that is a rule that I believe in 100%, no matter who the coach is, but in this case, I really think that Day’s stubbornness and inability to put his offense in the best position to win big games has undermined his standing as the head coach of this team.
If you continually get beaten by practically every other competent team on your schedule, it’s time for Gene Smith to start considering what’s next. Day made all of those changes on the defensive side of his coaching staff in the offseason and yet the same problems remained in the biggest games on defense, and the offense still frustratingly underachieves when the team needs them the most.
Not only does the coaching staff — on both sides of the ball — appear to not be able to prepare their units for major opponents, they are clearly incapable of making substantive adjustments against good teams in-game; and what’s even more annoying, is that they seem to not even want to make them.
I know that football schematics are much more complicated than what idiots like me can see on the TV broadcast, but this is not an acceptable output from a coaching staff that is paid this much money and has this much talent.
Getting embarrassed by every top-level team on your schedule is no longer a coincidence for this Ohio State staff, it is not even a pattern, it is just who they are. Ohio State can, should, and must do better.