A 10-win season is a nice benchmark for most college football programs, but it no longer suffices at Ohio State, unless it's the best the Buckeyes can do.
Head coach Ryan Day might be faced with that reality, pending whether his Buckeyes can play a full season amid COVID-19 precautions that have curtailed spring practice and threaten college football's immediate future.
Ohio State won the last of Woody Hayes' national championships playing just 10 games in 1969, but that number of games would represent a 33% reduction from the 15 OSU would play normally in a 12-game regular season, plus a Big Ten title game and two College Football Playoff games.
"I have not given that any thought, so I don't know," Day said. "I don't know about that. Certainly, before anything like that were ever to come up, I'm sure there would be a lot of conversation between coaches and ADs.
"I'm sure there's a lot of things at play there, a lot of ripple effects, and, if we get that far, I'm sure a lot of research. I'll probably have more of an idea of that if it comes up, but right now I wouldn't say I've given that any thought."
Day touched on a variety of other topics in a 45-minute call with reporters, including:
No OSU personnel have tested positive for the coronavirus: “That’s one of those things where we all know that the testing part of it is taking time and everything like that, but there’s nobody in our (football) family right now that we know of that has tested positive," Day said.
Day is holding two conference calls with his coaches every day, but none of them can work from the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, which has been shut down. He and his staff are staying in touch with players via video-conferencing and text messaging.
“We’re trying to stay in constant communication,” Day said. “I think in this generation especially, they’re just used to such great feedback, so we’re trying to make sure we give them that feedback and trying to help them with all that stuff. Their lives are so structured when they’re here that we have to make sure the best we can to give them that structure remotely, as well."
Day cannot speak about the transfer of Oklahoma running back Trey Sermon because of NCAA rules limiting financial aid at this time.
OSU has a few players who have received clearance to stay in their dorms past the school's March 22 deadline.
Ohio State can furnish players in Columbus with meals and can send money to players living away from campus to help with their dining expenses.
Day said he is using a home office that he never previously used and maintains a structured schedule that clears time for his wife and two children.
“How many times as a football coach are you actually able to spend this much of an extended time with your family?’' Day said. “We’re trying to make a positive out of a negative. Spending time and reconnecting with the family, spending good time with the family. There’s obviously a pandemic going on and it’s stressful for everybody, but we’re trying to do the best we can to keep our minds off that.”
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