When Ryan Day took over for Urban Meyer in 2019, it felt like he was just going to expand on what his predecessor built with Ohio State football. Heck, Day was Meyer's choice to replace him as head coach when he stepped down to retire.
Early on, it looked like Day had learned from the all-time great head coach before him, going 13-1 and losing in the College Football Playoff semifinal against Clemson, 29-23. It was a great start for the first-year head coach and then in a COVID-19-shortened 2020 season, he went 7-1 with a berth in the national title game, falling short of the ultimate goal.
Still, a 20-2 record through two seasons with two playoff berths and a national title game loss felt like the start of something special.
And then Ohio State started to show some cracks in 2021. The Buckeyes still went 10-2 in the regular season, but they lost to Michigan for the first time in what felt like forever before winning the Rose Bowl to finish with 11 wins. In 2022, Ohio State had a chance to win the Big Ten again, but lost a home game to Michigan at the end of the year, and yet the Buckeyes still made the playoff before losing a thriller to eventual-champion Georgia.
Things would be different in 2023, right? Wrong. Another loss to Michigan and another missed Big Ten title game appearance and no playoff berth.
Surely Day would have the Buckeyes ready to prove people wrong in the Cotton Bowl against a beatable Missouri team, right? Wrong. Ohio State came out flat and score three (!!) points in a 14-3 defeat. It was ugly. Day was once again exposed in a massive game. The Buckeyes looked uninspired.
So for a third straight year, Ohio State has lost to Michigan, missed out on a Big Ten title game berth, and failed in its quest for a national title. At Ohio State, that's unacceptable.
After the Missouri loss, it's fair to question Day. He may be entering his final season with the Buckeyes because, well, if he can't beat Michigan after losing almost everyone on offense while at home, he doesn't deserve another chance. Heck, he may have already worn out his welcome.