Tonight, the world will be tuned in to see if the Ohio State Buckeyes can pull off a historic upset against Alabama in the National Championship Game. The Buckeyes turned heads last weekend when they cruised by the Clemson Tigers in the Sugar Bowl 49-28, a game that was never really close. It has been a tumultuous year for head coach Ryan Day, who at one point didn't even know if his team would play, but he has show cased why he is one of the best coaches in the country.
In terms of rooting interests for the Boston College community the answer is simple. Ohio State. Day got his start with the Eagles working as a GA under Tom O'Brien in 2004, and then worked as the wide receiver coach, and then the offensive coordinator in 2013-14. In his two years running the offense in Chestnut Hill with Steve Addazio, he was able to create two completely dynamic but very different offenses. In 2013, the offense was a typical power rushing offense with Andre Williams, in which he ran for 2177 yards and became a Heisman Finalist. But then in 2014 he flipped the script and turned BC's offense into an option offense with speedy transfer quarterback Tyler Murphy at the helm. It showcased just how clever Day was an offensive mind. To take a roster that lost a Heisman candidate, and still was able to still create an offense that centered around a quarterback that broke ACC rushing records was an incredible coaching job.
After leaving BC he followed Chip Kelly around the NFL in stops in Philadelphia and San Francisco. Day eventually got his big break under Urban Meyer and Ohio State as their new offensive coordinator. After Meyer stepped down, Day became the new head coach and flourished. In his first full year with the Buckeyes he brought in a defensive coordinator with him from the NFL, a young up and comer named Jeff Hafley. In just a season Hafley was able to turn Ohio State's from middle of the road to one of the elite defenses in the country.
Of course we know where Hafley's story goes next. After the regular season, Ryan Day spoke highly of Hafley to Boston College and the Eagles had their next head coach. Hafley credits his former boss with helping him get the job with the Eagles.
Now with a new defensive coordinator, Day has a herculean feat in front of him tonight in the title game. Alabama's offense is possibly one of the greatest in college football history. With Mac Jones, Najee Harris and Heisman winner Devonta Smith leading the way, the Buckeyes will have to bring it all. But as we saw last weekend with Ohio State, anything is possible. They have an electric quarterback, a running back who is getting better every game, and a defense that is improving.
And for the head coach that got his start in Chestnut Hill, many folks around the BC program will be rooting for Ryan Day.