Throughout the Ohio State football season, we will be asking and answering questions about the team, college football, and anything else on our collective minds of varying degrees of importance. If you have a question that you would like to ask, you can tweet us @LandGrant33 or if you need more than 280 characters, send an email HERE.
Question 1: What is the biggest thing that the Ohio State football program must do in the offseason?
Look, I have been beating this drum for just about two years now. I think Ryan Day is doing his players, his offense, his team, his program, his staff, and himself a disservice by continuing to call plays; and unfortunately, this has become an annual tradition to have to talk about it after disappointing losses late in the season (and after some ugly early-season wins as well).
And while I definitely think that Day’s habit of going conservative in many (but not all) big games hurt the Buckeyes in last week’s Michigan game, I don’t think that was the biggest issue this season; that would put as the quarterback position — which also is Day’s responsibility, but is a separate issue. However, I don’t know that QB would be my biggest concern moving forward.
I don’t think that Day will be especially active (or even active at all) in trying to land a big-name transfer quarterback, instead, I imagine that we will go into spring with all three returning QBs in a competition with the opportunity for Air Noland to get into the mix if he’s ready. I don’t think that the Buckeyes can go into 2024 with anything similar to this year’s version of Kyle McCord behind center. Presumably, the incumbent starter will improve, but if it is not substantially, I think you have to go in a different direction, and that has to be decided by the end of spring. I personally did not see enough from Devin Brown in his limited action to make me confident that he is capable of being the guy next year if McCord doesn’t take a major step. So, if push comes to shove — and Day doesn’t decide to go crazy and bring in a DJ Uiagalelei, Dante Moore, Cameron Ward, Will Howard, or Riley Leonard type — my completely uninsightful preference would be to go with the South Dakota Slinger Lincoln Kienholz. But, that’s a discussion for another day.
Ultimately, when discussing the question at hand, I do think that Day giving up playcalling is vital to the long-term health of the Ohio State football program. If the Buckeyes do not make the College Football Playoff, he absolutely needs to let Brian Hartline call the offense in whatever New Year’s Six bowl game they end up in.
Question 2: Do you want the Buckeyes to make the College Football Playoff if chaos happens this weekend?
I wrote about this earlier in the week, but this is where I’m at. There have certainly been times when I was less keen on Buckeye teams sneaking into the College Football Playoff, but in a year in which I don’t think that there are any dominant teams in the sport — and OSU was one drive away from beating one of the best teams in the country — I don’t see any reason to not want the team to have a shot and hope against hope that Ryan Day will find that rare postseason surge of guts and creativity he sometimes stumbles upon.
With the Washington Huskies beating the Oregon Ducks last night, that’s one thing that has to go Ohio State’s way for them to make the playoff field. I think it is a bit of an uphill climb the rest of the way — especially in the Big 12 Championship Game — but, as fans, it is in our nature to get our hopes up. So, I am ready to sweat along with another OSU in hopes of it benefitting our beloved OSU.