Ryan Day Reiterates Belief Big Ten Has To Start Season in Mid-October For Playoff Eligibility On College GameDay

By Colin Hass-Hill on September 12, 2020 at 11:17 am
Ryan Day
Credit: College GameDay

Ryan Day's Ohio State team won't play today, yet he appeared on ESPN's College GameDay anyway.

Two days after releasing a statement in which he called for the Big Ten to start its season in mid-October with the belief that a "safe pathway toward returning to play" by then existed, the head coach joined Penn State's James Franklin, Stanford's David Shaw and Utah's Kyle Whittingham for a discussion with Rece Davis about their conferences' paths forward.

Day, as part of his comments, reiterated his thinking that the conference has to start playing by around this time next month in order to be in College Football Playoff consideration. 

“I don't know if there's an exact date, but certainly I think we need to try to get going by mid-October to get into the conversations in the CFP,” Day said. “But again, it's first things first: Let's just make sure that we can figure out a way to do this safely and then we'll tackle that next.”

He said last month that the Buckeyes could have had a "once-in-a-lifetime team." Of course, because Wyatt Davis opted out of the upcoming season on Friday in order to focus on the NFL draft, they wouldn't have their full team even if they get a chance to play this fall. That, however, hasn't tempered Day's hopes of playing next month.

Franklin, the other Big Ten coach on College GameDay with Day, said he never has communicated he specifically disagreed with the postponement of the season, saying, “the Big Ten, in a lot of ways, should get credit for the decision that they made.” Rather, he took issue with the lack of communication and explanation of the conference's choice.

Day said he agreed with Franklin.

“I think that we're always going to defer to our medical experts and personnel,” Day said. “We'll just defer to their decisions and their conversations. I think that there's people around the country, certainly people in our footprint, people who have the same goals and the same values that the Big Ten has who have found a safe way to play football and they're doing it this weekend.”

While no midwest football powers in the Big Ten will play, Notre Dame – which Day also referenced in Thursday's open letter – opens the season at 2:30 p.m. Saturday with a home game against Duke. Six other top-25 teams, including No. 1 Clemson, No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 14 Texas, also play this weekend.

“I think a lot has changed, too,” Day said. “Every day it changes. It's changed a lot in two weeks. It changes every day. We're learning more and more every day. We're just looking forward to seeing what comes next.”

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