November 28, 2022

Is Ryan Day the best coach in the Big Ten?

FILE - In this Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, file photo, Ohio State's acting head coach Ryan Day directs warm-ups before an NCAA college football game against Oregon State, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State says Urban Meyer will retire after the Rose Bowl and assistant Ryan Day will be the next head coach. After seven years and a national championship at Ohio State, the 54-year-old Meyer will formally announce his departure Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, at a news conference. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

He’s 8-0 overall as Ohio State’s Head Coach and the Buckeyes have outscored their opponents 431-105 during that span.

Urban Meyer handed Ryan Day a cake on a platter, with a roster filled with four and five-star talent across the board. Sprinkle in the nation’s No. 1 recruit from a year ago in quarterback Justin Fields and you have a team primed for a Playoff run.

Last season the Buckeyes often times played down to their competition and struggled to close out games. However, this fall the team been dominating on both sides of the ball and arguably playing like the No. 1 team in the nation.

In hindsight Day seems to be getting the most out of his players and there’s a glow of greatness on the sidelines that wasn’t present all of last season. Has the Big Ten become Ohio State and everybody else? It remains to be seen if the Buckeyes are the team to beat in the Big Ten with four other conference foes undefeated also.

Still, Justin Fields has been better than expected with 20 touchdown passes through five games. Not to mention the Buckeyes are averaging a jaw-dropping, 52.4 points per game. J.K. Dobbins is one the best running backs in the Big Ten, the receivers are lightning fast and edge rusher Chase Young is going to be a lottery pick in next year’s NFL Draft.

There’s a lot to like about Day’s first full season in Columbus thus far. However, the Buckeyes may look like world beaters because they haven’t played anyone with a pulse yet. Florida Atlantic, Cincinnati, Indiana, Miami (Ohio) and Nebraska have a combined record of 14-10, including 2-8 against Power Five competition.

The Huskers didn’t have the talent level to expose any of the Buckeyes’ weaknesses. There’s been a lot of overreaction to the 41-point win in Lincoln. Ohio State is approaching the meat grinder of its’ conference schedule with the next three games against Michigan State, Northwestern and Wisconsin.

If the Buckeyes are still playing at this same level by the end of October and are undefeated, look out. The scary thought is the team has yet to reach their ceiling. Nonetheless Day and Ohio State had one the best Septembers of any Power Five program.

The elephant in the room question is will the Big Ten have the Buckeyes battle-tested enough to compete with other Playoff teams if they reach the big post season? That’s a question only Day can answer, but he’s slowly changing the outside perception of the program.

College Football fanatics don’t want to see Ohio State navigate through its’ Big Ten schedule unscathed, only to get smashed by a team like Clemson again. As for now, Day and the Buckeyes can only take everything one game at a time and beat the teams that are on their schedule.

Regardless of the matter, there’s no denying that Day has been the most successful first-year coach of 2019 thus far. If Day continues at this rate there could potentially be some conference and national hardware waiting for him at the end of the regular season.