Whether or not you agree with the Big Ten’s decision to push football to the spring, we can all agree that it really stinks for the players who were gearing up to play this fall. It may be the absolute right thing for their health and safety, but we can all understand why guys like Ohio State football coach Ryan Day and many of his players are disappointed.
Day’s comments on his 2020 Buckeyes squad won’t make it an easier pill to swallow for Ohio State fans, either. He spoke to the media on a number of issues related to the fall season being postponed on Wednesday. He revealed just how high he is on this group of players.
“I’ll get emotional if I start thinking about it,” the young Ohio State football coach said, when discussing what has gone down in recent weeks, per Eleven Warriors. “What I said to the team the other day is the truth: As a player, you work your whole life and as a coach, you work your whole life for an opportunity to coach a team like this.”
“This team is special. It’s special because it’s talented. It’s special because it has leadership. It’s special because of the character. It could have been in a once-in-a-lifetime team.”
Ohio State Head Coach Ryan Day (@ryandaytime) addressed the media today after the Big Ten postponed the Fall sports season. He said many things, but this response stood out: "It could have been a once-in-a-lifetime team."
Sounds like a foregone conclusion, but hopefully not. pic.twitter.com/Q4Q9gf2oIX
— Tino Bovenzi (@TinoBovenzi) August 12, 2020
Obviously the 2019 Buckeyes hold a special place in Ryan Day’s heart. That was his first team as full-time head coach, and they put together an incredible 13-win season and run to the College Football Playoff.
This year’s team has what it takes to be even better, though, Day believes.
“Certainly the team last year I’ll never forget. It was the first time as a head coach, and what they did was awesome, but there was just something about this team that had it. It had it. They came back hungry after their last game on the field. They were determined. And this quarantine, this virus was not going to get in their way.”
Of all of the teams whose fall seasons have been postponed/canceled so far, the Buckeyes definitely have the most realistic national championship aspirations as currently constituted. Even if a spring season happens, there’s no guarantee that OSU—or any team—will look like it might have this fall.
Quarterback Justin Fields, a Heisman finalist last season and a projected top 2021 NFL Draft pick, has made it clear that he wants to play another year for Ohio State football. If the season happens this spring, and it runs up against the NFL Draft, it may not make sense for him to participate. That is among the concerns with playing this spring, along with the health concerns of pushing players to participate in two seasons in such short order.
Of course, right now that looks like the only option to have any football in the Big Ten before next fall. Hopefully the league can come up with something workable, and we get some football this year, as long as it is safe for the players and they have buy-in on a season.