After Jim Harbaugh, the college football coach with the most to lose in Michigan’s sign-stealing scandal, it’s Ryan’s day at Ohio State. Coaching the Buckeyes comes with crazy expectations, and there have been rumblings about Day’s last two losses to his most hated rival, the team’s physicality, and anything else OSU fans can think of to complain about.
While it’s fair to blame Connor Stallions for the Buckeyes’ no-show, that’s no excuse for the loss. There are questions about how long the Stallions spent personally scouting opponents with a Source of the Big Ten The claim that the scheme was as advanced as it is is troubling.
“This is worse than both the Astros and the Patriots – it’s a use of technology for a competitive advantage and there are allegations that they’re filming past games, not just in-game. If it’s just an in-game situation, that’s a different story. Going and filming somewhere you’re not supposed to be. It’s “Illegal. It’s too much of an advantage.”
Well, if it had been that bad, other Big Ten coaches would have heard about it, which is what happened.
“We were told to be careful because they have a guy who can pick plays,” one said The Big Ten coach told Yahoo Sports. “It was too late to change our signals, but another employee told us so [Stalions]”.
This to me curses other Big Ten coaches as much as it curses Harbaugh. Stealing the Houston Astros’ signs is top of mind for an MLB team because MLB clubs have been in Houston long before the league was officially involved, and smart teams have tried to mitigate the Astros’ “superhero” scouting.
The Washington Nationals constantly changed their signals during the 2019 World Series while the Yankees needed to be informed of infractions before trying to combat them. Well, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa aren’t waiting for anyone, and New York is still waiting for another trip to the World Series.
That’s where Day and Ohio State come in. No one in Columbus thought it was weird that C.J. Stroud looked like a shell of himself against UM, and no one else? The guy resets NFL records for rookie quarterbacks and torched Georgia’s defense for 348 yards and four TDs, but couldn’t find an open receiver against a Wolverine-torn TCU defense?
It seems to me that Day is a brilliant offensive mind, and a really good coach; It’s a big reason why Ohio State’s prospects remain in the stratosphere. At the same time, there may be a little naivety because his success comes without effort.
Although we have no idea how long the Stallions operation has been going on, or to what extent, the Wolverines don’t start making a move through the Big Ten until 2021. Think ol’ Dad Pants didn’t feel like his seat was getting hot? They were 2-4 in the Covid year.
“Fire at your alma mater” is the kind of stress that forces you into despair. If you’ve never been in the crosshairs of naysayers, which hasn’t really happened to Day yet, I can see why there’s a presumption of integrity.
But that’s not reality, and there’s too much at stake to assume your opponent is playing fair just because you are. Those two Ls to Michigan arguably cost Stroud the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft and the Heisman, but they cost Ohio State more.
With a win in 2022, the Buckeyes would have avoided a first-round matchup against defending champion Georgia in the College Football Playoff. Beat Michigan in 2021 and take their place in the CFP. Competitiveness is not the same as ruthlessness, and whether or not winning a national title is justified, it requires just as much competitiveness as the former.