Take a deep breath, Buckeye fans. Ohio State has made it through the first quarter of its regular season and we can sit and enjoy all of the games this college football Saturday. But earlier this week, as we were able to take a step back and process everything we witnessed last Saturday in South Bend, we wanted to check in with the fandom and see how Buckeye Nation felt about the marquee victory.
In our weekly fan survey, we asked three questions to see where your head and your heart were at in relation to everything that we saw transpire in South Bend last weekend. See the responses to our questions below, and if you have other thoughts, feel free to share them in the comments at the bottom of the page.
Question 1: What is your biggest takeaway from Ohio State’s win over Notre Dame?
To me, this is by far the right answer. Like I wrote earlier in the week, the Buckeyes’ performance was far from perfect, but it felt like the type of win that is the beginning of something special; like it might have unlocked something for the team, its quarterback, and its coach.
Perhaps after eight games, we will look back and think of the gutsy, prime time, road win as a flash in the pan, but I think we are far more likely to look back at the 17-14 win against the Irish as the springboard that took Ohio State to the next level this season.
Question 2: How much (if any) did the game change your opinion of the Ohio State team?
Moderation is almost always a prudent thing to have in life, be it in your carbohydrate consumption, your personal spending practices, or your reaction to a single game of college football. However, I have been known to be a bit of a prisoner of the moment. So, coming out of the Notre Dame game, I admit that I am feeling much better about the Buckeyes than I did going in. No, they are not a finished product at this point in the season, but they passed their first major test.
They have two more coming up at the end of this month (Penn State on Oct. 21 and Wisconsin on Oct. 28) and seeing how they were able to grind out the win while still fighting to figure out some things is impressive to me. The last two Buckeye championship teams have had to work through some growing pains, and this team will too, but I think the mentality — and dare I say, toughness — that they played with Saturday is incredibly encouraging for me.
Question 3: What did you think of Ryan Day going after Lou Holtz?
Did I love Ryan Day calling out Lou Holtz when it happened? Absolutely.
Does it look a bit unhinged to people outside of the Ohio State bubble? Definitely.
In a vacuum, is it a bit unbecoming of the head coach for a program like OSU? Probably.
Does any of that matter? Not in the least.
I don’t know if Day had some major strategic purpose in saying what he said on Saturday night or not, but the only people whose opinion on the matter that counts, is the players in the Ohio State locker room, and they uniformly loved it. They’ve heard all of the questions about toughness from inside and outside Columbus, so for Day to actively, publicly, and emotionally plant a flag in favor of his team was all that the players needed to hear.
Kyle McCord and Emeka Egbuka were both asked by the media about it last week (and you can hear their comments in the podcast below). But, like with the win in general, I think that this can be a rallying cry that becomes a bit of a turning point for everyone in scarlet and gray.