Skull Session: Ryan Day is Better Than Tom Herman and Dan Mullen, Jim Harbaugh's Increased Pressure to Win, and Joe Burrow Speaks Highly of Day

By Kevin Harrish on December 5, 2018 at 4:59 am
New head coach Ryan Day.

Ohio State is replacing a three-time national championship winner and arguably a top-five college football head coach of all time with a first-time head coach without a verified Twitter account who Wikipedia deems less famous than a Welsh professional snooker player.

The best part: It's an absolute home run hire. Welcome to the show, Ryan Day.

An extreme dose of ICYMI

Word of the Day: Concatenation.

 TOM HERMAN? DAN MULLEN? Apparently Urban Meyer thinks the new Buckeye head coach is even better than the two offensive coordinators that helped him win his three national titles.

Cris Carter spoke on FS1's First Things First about Meyer's retirement, revealing how worried he was about his friend and former position coach and seeming to imply that he thought Meyer might die on the sideline if he didn't stop coaching.

But in much lighter news, he also revealed just how highly Meyer thinks of Day:

“Urban thinks he’s the best offensive coordinator he’s ever had. He’s got three of four guys out there, Dan Mullen, Tom Herman. These guys are running Florida, Texas. He said Ryan Day is even better than them, and you can see the way he runs his offense, it’s definitely far more creative.”

I can't say enough how great a hire this is. I talked to Day a lot during the 2016 season, back before everyone else around the Buckeye football beat realized he was the actual offensive coordinator, and I was blown away.

The dude is an offensive genius, but can explain it in a way that a six-year-old could understand. He's also a genuinely kind and likable individual who makes you feel valued and listened to, even when you're just an inexperienced college kid with an audio recorder asking scheme questions, trying to get him to explain football to you.

And he did explain football to me, gladly. And I wrote about it.

 QUARTERBACKS ARE RAVING. People forget, Ryan Day actually produced two starting quarterbacks this season – one just plays for a different school now. And he still had nothing but pleasant things to say about his former position coach.

From Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch:

“He brought a certain credibility to our room that helped us all reach our potential,” Burrow said. “What was unique about him was that he didn’t just know the X’s and O’s. He understood the nuances of being a leader.

“He understood that every person is different and when you try to coach them, you have to coach everybody differently. If you try to coach everybody the same, they will not listen. He not only knew it, but taught it to the quarterbacks.

“I think that is what will allow him to be wildly successful as a head coach. I wouldn’t be the player or person I am today without coach Day.”

The world's most famous former third-string quarterback also weighed in, even though he's never played for Day.

I also appreciate how he tossed in some stellar Tim Beck and Ed Warinner shade, who were the only two other of play callers and coordinators between Herman and Day, and thus the obvious target of Dolo's subtle criticism.

Hey, with Day moving up the ranks, the Buckeyes will presumably need a new quarterback, and Cardale Jone swill presumably need a job. Makes you think, for sure.

 HARBAUGH WILL RUE THE DAY. You didn't have to look far or wide to find to find a Michigan Man celebrating the departure of the dude who kicked the asses of almost two-straight graduating classes of Wolverines.

For the first time in about seven years, Ohio State looks fragile. That's getting them giddy, and putting more pressure on their khaki'd savior.

I mean, yeah.

If Jim Harbaugh can't get it done at home, against a first-year head coach with (presumably) a first-year starter at quarterback, it probably just ain't going to happen.

And folks, my official stance is that it just probably ain't going to happen.

I mean, who do they think orchestrated the assault on Michigan's top-ranked defense this year, which was the most points the Wolverines have ever surrendered in regulation?

 HOLTMANN PRAISES URBAN. Noted Buckeye football fan Chris Holtmann had some pleasant things to say about the outgoing head coach of the Ohio State football team.

From Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch:

“When I got a chance to be around here, obviously I imagined being around him and being able to learn for a number of years,” Holtmann said. “We’ve had a chance to spend some time together and he’s been, whether it’s been talking to a recruit or just sharing thoughts, he’s been great.

“I wouldn’t say our relationship has grown to where we’re close friends because I just got here, but he really has been tremendous from day one to me and Shelley’s been tremendous to my wife.”


In his press conference announcing his retirement, Meyer said he plans to remain around the program and in the area. Holtmann said he’s hoping that their relationship will continue to grow.

“I think that who he is as a coach, it’s really cool seeing former players come back,” he said. “Who he is as a coach and a person, I think, I’m excited to hopefully continue to get to know him. He’s had an incredible legacy in coaching and I know he’s a tremendous family man and I really wish him and his family well.”

Chris Holtmann brought recruits to talk to Urban Meyer?

Man, based on Holtmann's performance on the recruiting trail and his newfound status as an Ohio State football superfan, maybe Ryan Day needs to start bringing recruits to talk to Holtmann.

 BIG GAME BOB WHEN THE BIG GAMES STOP. Bob Stoops is enjoying life as a retired man, and he's got some advise for Urban as he turns in his play sheet for an AARP card.

From George Schroeder of USA Today:

“It’s not easy, let me tell you,” Stoops said. “I’d tell him, ‘Have some patience.’ It takes time. It’s such a drastic difference. It takes a lot.

“I’m still not adjusted – but there’s still time.”


“The intensity, the competition, the challenge of this,” he said. “But also for all of us that played as well as coached, it’s been 40 years of my life I’ve been with a gang of guys. It’s like, you always had your crew and all of the sudden you don’t have a crew anymore. You’ve got your players and your coaches and a fraternity of guys you’re constantly interacting with every single day, and all of the sudden you go to being alone. So that’s not easy to handle.”

Meyer is leaving under extremely similar circumstances as Stoops did. Both felt it was the perfect time for them to step away, and both felt like they had the perfect successor already on staff.

Meyer called Day an “elite” coach who is primed to continue the Buckeyes’ success. Stoops declined to make the comparison – “That’s for them to say, not for me,” he said – but Meyer’s comments sounded similar to the way Stoops described Riley when he stepped away.

“It was obvious to me (Riley was ready),” Stoops said, “and I think that’s why I got the feeling that I did. … To me, it was important that our program continue in a great way. I thought, ‘You know, this is an opportunity for me to do what I want to do in life, whatever that may be.’ But bottom line, here’s an opportunity for me to step away and leave it going as smoothly as possible.

“I not only was looking out for me, but looking out for the program and me. I found the right blend that, ‘You know what? This is perfect.’

“Hopefully for Urban, it works out great for him.”

I'm sure Stoops is loving everything about watching Oklahoma's playoff run this season, knowing he helped build it.

Urban's going to feel the same way during Ohio State's national title run next year.

 LEBRON JAMES HAD ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA. Rule of thumb, if you're asked about something you know nothing about, don't pretend to know.

Otherwise, this happens:

The most hilarious thing about this is that the news of Urban Meyer's retirement and Ryan Day's hiring was totally packaged together completely simultaneously, from the initial media release to the press conference.

To only acquire half of this information seems far more unlikely than just not hearing any of the information at all.

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