Ryan Day sounds like he's making excuses for Ohio State's recent shortcomings

Ohio State has a fantastic football program, so there is no reason for Ryan Day to make excuses.
Ryan Day, Ohio State Buckeyes
Ryan Day, Ohio State Buckeyes / Jason Mowry/GettyImages

Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and apparently in Columbus, Ohio. Despite failing to reach the College Football Playoff last year, Ohio State is on a shortlist of about four teams who can convince themselves they are among the favorites this year, along with Georgia, Oregon and Texas. But unlike Kirby Smart, Dan Lanning and Steve Sarkisian, Ryan Day has plenty of time for excuses.

During Ohio State's annual spring game last week, the Buckeyes head coach said that "we've been a play away or a drive away from reaching our goals each year." College football is different, but you can say the perpetual 7-10 Arthur Smith Atlanta Falcons were "a play away or a drive away from reaching (their) goals each year." Losing to Georgia two years ago was tough, but start with beating Michigan.

With Jim Harbaugh leaving Ann Arbor for the NFL, now is not the time for any excuse making in Columbus. The Buckeyes are the presumptive favorite to win the Big Ten, although Oregon and Penn State will be tough outs next year as well. Michigan is an obvious pullback candidate under new head coach Sherrone Moore. For now, Ohio State needs to answer the call of tough, but fair expectations.

If Ohio State loses to Michigan for the fourth year in a row, it justifies Ross Bjork to move on from Day.

Keep in mind that Day's mentor Chip Kelly is serving as the Buckeyes' new offensive coordinator, too.

Ryan Day needs to have few excuses than losses this year to keep his job

A lot can change between now and the end of next college football season, but nobody is going to listen to any excuses coming out of Athens, Austin, Columbus or Eugene. Those four Power Two cities are getting teams into the expanded 12-team playoff. That is a guarantee. Other places will have their work cut out for them, but it is all about finishing the drill and tightening up in those four.

Right now, I have Ohio State as my projected Big Ten winner. The Buckeyes will win multiple playoff games, only to lose to Georgia, who will win its third national championship in four years. Outside of those two teams, I have a hard time finding who else will join their dinner party besides Oregon and Texas. Penn State is very close to a playoff lock, but nobody defines 10-2 like Driver James Franklin.

No, we are not pushing snake oil here, nor are we gaslighting each other into an oblivion over something so trivial and stupid. This is about being able to read the room without some unnecessary prefacing and posturing nonsense. Ohio State should measure its success with that of Michigan's in the Big Ten and Georgia's nationally of late. It starts by beating Michigan first. Nothing else matters.

With every available advantage on their side, there is no room for any excuses for Ohio State in 2024.

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