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The Ohio State football team isn’t worried about Michigan, Penn State, or any other Big Ten opponent. And rightfully so. The Buckeyes have won four straight conference titles and haven’t lost a regular season game since October of 2018. Assuming they’ll sleepwalk through another fall slate, head coach Ryan Day and his coaching staff have the Buckeyes focused on beating Bama.
First AP Top 10 College Football rankings out:
1. Alabama (47)
2. Oklahoma (6)
3. Clemson (6)
4. Ohio State (1)
5. Georgia (3)
6. Texas A&M
7. Iowa State
9. Notre Dame
10. North Carolina
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) August 16, 2021
With both programs entering the fall as Top 5 teams for the umpteenth time, Ohio State is aiming to avenge last season’s 52- 24 National Championship game blowout at the hands of Alabama.
“Certainly, the way it ended in that game was not good,” Day told Yahoo. “There’s been a lot of emphasis put there, and like anything else, you gotta make the corrections and I’ll be surprised if they’re not made.”
Since replacing Urban Meyer, Day has gone 20-2, with both losses coming in the College Football Playoff. Despite making it to the final four in each of Day’s first two seasons, the Buckeyes haven’t hoisted a national championship trophy since 2014. “I think we’re close,” said strength coach Mickey Marotti.
To help get them over the Crimson Tide hump, Day borrowed a page from Nick Saban’s book and hired ex-head coaches and coordinators to his staff. Amongst those now joining Day on the OSU sidelines are Paul Rhoads, formerly Iowa State’s HC, and Todd Fitch, a former OC.
The coaching additions haven’t been lost on Jeff Hafley, who used to work with Day and is now head coach of Boston College: “…He has a team where he wants them. He won the Big Ten. He won the Big Ten (again). Now (Day’s saying), ‘I gotta win a national championship.’ And when you look over at the Alabama sideline, you see ex-head coaches, which is awesome for them, right? So it’s what resources do we need, maybe, that we’re not using? And we have the means to get them, let’s go get them.”
With a roster full of four and five star recruits, a top-tier coaching staff and little competition in the Big Ten, Day knows the Buckeyes will be judged by just one thing: “In a world where you have to win — we don’t have a choice. We have to win at Ohio State.”