Ryan Day had a spectacular first year as Ohio State head coach. Saying that he's already ahead of Urban Meyer might be a bit of a stretch though.
Day, who took over the program after serving as Meyer's offensive coordinator in 2017-18, has a 16-1 record as Buckeyes head coach. He went 3-0 filling in for Meyer during his suspension stemming from the Zach Smith scandal in 2018, and was 13-1 with an undefeated Big Ten record last fall.
The Buckeyes fell in the College Football Semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl to Clemson, in one of the better games of the 2019 season. Still, it doesn't get much better for a coach in his true debut season. ESPN's Paul Finebaum thinks the program could be better off under Day than it was under Meyer, who is generally considered one of the best coaches of all time.
“I think he’s already one of the best coaches in the country,” Finebaum told ESPN Cleveland earlier this week, in discussing Ohio State's young head coach. “I don’t know him well. I’ve interviewed him once or twice. But from a distance, he’s just a cool guy that really understands today’s modern player."
“I had my problems with Urban, that was well known, but I always respected him as a coach." Finebaum added, per The Plain Dealer. "I think Ryan Day is a more complete coach.”
Finebaum has previously said that Meyer underachieved a bit, only winning one national title at Ohio State. He also had a penchant for a bad loss most seasons, getting crushed on the road at Iowa and Purdue later in his tenure. Those games cost the Buckeyes opportunities to head to the College Football Playoff.
The Buckeyes went undefeated until the Clemson game in the College Football Playoff semifinal in 2019.