Coaching staff changes show Day has pushed all-in in quest for national title

You could tell if Ryan day was a poker player, he placed all his chips in the middle of the table.

Day, who has just completed his third full season as an Ohio State coach, is banking on his team’s chances of winning the national championship in 2022.

How do we know this? Because he essentially emptied his team of assistant coaches in an effort to consolidate areas that many in the minds were lacking in 2021.

So far, Day has replaced four of his assistant coaches. It’s unclear whether that will be the end of the purge or not, as the news is coming out of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in small drops.

This is what we know: The Rose Bowl confirmed to Day that his Ohio State team will have the most effective – if not effective – passing offense in the country in 2022. Quarterback CJ Stroud pitched for an OSU and Rose Bowl record of 573 yards and six touchdowns, while wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba caught 15 passes for an OSU and a bowl record 347 yards and three scores. First-year student Marvin Harrison Jr. caught three touchdown passes, while his classmate Emeka Egbouka and second Julien fleming look, they’ll also cushion the blow of losing Garrett wilson and Chris Olave at the NFL.

That incredible 48-45 win over Utah at the Rose Bowl capped an otherwise unsatisfying 11-2 season for the Buckeyes. They missed out on a fifth straight Big Ten championship and a chance for a third straight college football playoff spot.

Why was that? Well, the Buckeyes were manhandled and overwhelmed in their two regular season losses to Oregon and Michigan. They struggled to establish the run offensively in the two losses, while being destroyed defensively by a mix of passing and passing in each of those games.

Over the years, we have seen different approaches in the state of Ohio. In 1995, after Michigan trampled the defense of the state of Ohio, defensive coordinator Bill Young left for Oklahoma. Head coach John Cooper bred Fred pagac to the work of coordinator. The Silver Bullets were formed and national championship flirtations – as close as Coop would get the brass ring – followed with No.2 finishes in 1996 and 1998.

Jim tressel rarely gets rid of anyone. He took the slow, steady loyalty approach and it generally paid off as his teams almost always beat Michigan and were more often than not in the Big Ten and National Championship footage.

When Urban Meyer didn’t like defense after losing the last two games in 2013 he dropped Everett Withers and brought Chris ash work with Luc Fickell on defense reform. The result was a national championship in 2014.

When the offense directed by Ed warinner and Tim beck weakened during the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Meyer made a change. He brought Ryan day to figure things out. The result was a collection of many of the best offensive seasons Ohio State has ever seen. Day was ultimately chosen to replace Meyer.

Day has arrived at his personal crossroads this year after the end of this dysfunctional Ohio State season. On offense, the Buckeyes weren’t able to execute the ball effectively when they wanted to execute it and had to execute it against their better opponents. The blame for this fell on the offensive line, which also experienced some big pass protection issues in the season’s decisive loss to Michigan.

Greg Studrawa had helped OSU win a ton of games and four Big Ten titles in his six years on the staff. But that was the moment when Day decided to take a complete break and move in a new direction.

Likewise on defense, coordinator Kerry CoombsPlans and game calls didn’t hold up in the early-season loss to Oregon. Admittedly, there were also personnel issues with so many young players in a rush to serve as Minnesota and Oregon scored 30 points over the Buckeyes – something almost unheard of in back-to-back games.

Day transferred play call duties to secondary coach Matt barnes… And it all looked OK as the Buckeyes clinched nine straight wins and traveled to Michigan for a fifth straight place in the conference championship game. But Michigan’s offense – not exactly known for its prolific production – lined up and blew the Buckeyes off the ball in a performance reminiscent of 1995.

It was Michigan’s moment in Miami in 2003 or Alabama in 2015 as the Wolverines catapulted them into their very first Big Ten title game and ultimately their first place in the college football playoffs.

After this sudden loss, Day acted proactively. In less than two weeks, he had secured athletic director Gene Smith’s signing of a two-year contract worth nearly $ 2 million a year for the Oklahoma state defensive coordinator. Jim knowles. Knowles, a Cornell graduate, had remade defenses at Duke and Oklahoma State. It was clear that if Coombs returned it would be in reduced capacity.

Shortly after the Rose Bowl, Barnes jumped off the merry-go-round to accept the position of defensive coordinator in Memphis. It opened up a place in high school.

At the end of last week, some dominoes started to fall. Studrawa was unceremoniously shown the door. UCLA Offensive Coordinator Justin fryean Indiana graduate, was quickly chosen to replace him as OSU’s new offensive line coach. While Studrawa may have favored area blocking schemes, it seems Frye prefers a space blocking scheme. It’s unclear how much those views – or the idea that OSU made four tackles on their offensive line in 2021 – had to do with this change.

At the same time, there were rumors that the coach of the defensive line Larry johnson could retire and that Coombs would be fired. As of this writing – and as far as we know – Johnson will remain with the squad. He was cited by the top national defensive tackle prospect Kanu hero as one of the reasons he announced for OSU at last Saturday’s All-American Bowl. Johnson is expected to stay at least another year to train Kanu and the rest of the talented linemen he has recruited in the last two classes (i.e. JT Tuimoloau and Jack sawyer).

News started leaking earlier today, however, as Coombs and the linebackers coach Al-Washington would not return in 2022. The linebacker squad has been a bone of contention at Ohio State for much of the past five years. Former linebacker coach Bill Davis did not stand out as a recruiter or developer. Washington, it seemed, had very little raw material to work with.

It was believed, however, that Washington would be given the 2022 season to see what it could do with returning linebackers as well as a pair of talented newcomers in the National Top 50 Prospects. CJ Hicks and Gabe Powers from Ohio. However, this will not be the case.

With open staff positions, Day quickly hired Perry eliano from Cincinnati to Coach Safety and the Old Buckeye Tim walton to train cornerbacks. Walton has coached for 23 seasons, including nine years in the NFL (and last year he worked with Meyer with the Jacksonville Jaguars).

So, without fanfare, that ends Coombs’ second stint with Ohio State. We don’t know what his next step might be. Likewise, it’s a difficult career break for the Columbus Washington native, who likely wished for a longer stay in his hometown.

Presumably, that leaves Johnson to continue coaching the defensive line, Knowles to coach linebackers, and Eliano and Walton to share the secondary. Special teams coach Parker Fleming would probably fill in around the edges.

From Day’s perspective, he knows he has offense on offense to field and probably beat eight of OSU’s revamped 2022 calendar teams without breaking a sweat.

But those changes are what he thinks are needed to win those other four games. This requires a balanced attack with an improved running game … and better protection against passing against the best opponents in OSU. And also thanks to a competent but offensive defensive scheme that prevents opponents from exploiting weaknesses so easily.

It’s a formula the Ohio State coach sees as not only a victory in the Big Ten and the CFB playoffs, but also to bring back a national championship in Ohio State. .

(By the way, if we could make just one more Coach Day request, maybe it would be for him and his staff to go to the transfer portal and find a pair of difference makers – one on the defensive line and one at linebacker. We’re not looking for an All-American per se. But if there are some major conference guys who have totaled seven or more sacks on the defensive end or 80 or more tackles on the linebacker, they might want to kick them in the tires. No more dressing transfers for depth. I’m just looking for a few staff upgrades in these two job groups that could be huge for the bottom line in 2022 .)

Day will drop from around $ 6.7 million in 2021 to $ 7.6 million this year under a contract that spans the 2026 season. It’s unclear – as coaches’ salaries for his contemporaries like Mel tucker in the state of Michigan and James franklin at Penn State is skyrocketing – so Gene Smith will start talks about a raise for Day.

We know his name has been mentioned in various NFL job postings. For now, though, it looks like Day is training and acting on behalf of his feet, and that’s very clearly at Ohio State.

With the incredible tandem of Stroud and Smith-Njigba in the lead, the window to winning a national championship is now – as in the next 12 months. They’ll both almost certainly be gone to the NFL in time for the 2023 NFL Draft.

The timing couldn’t be much more favorable. The state of Ohio has Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan all of which visit Ohio Stadium in the best home program I’ve ever seen. Road games at Michigan State and Penn State give you a break. But if OSU can go 13-0 with wins over all of those teams, the Buckeyes would almost certainly be the seed for next year’s CFB playoffs.

And then you take your chance to try and bring home that elusive national championship. As we remember 2014, we know that it takes a lot of luck and perseverance to complete this mission.

But, with his actions since the Michigan game, Day has made it clear that the status quo is not good enough. Through each of these moves, it seems he’s put this program in position to aim for the ultimate prize in the sport.

He moved all in. The next 12 months will show if his bet pays off.

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