This has been one of the most strange college football seasons of all time. Like other sports that have managed to play out their seasons during COVID-19, there’s a legitimate argument that a championship this year may be even more impressive than normal. Ohio State head coach Ryan Day certainly seems to agree with that.
Day’s team is on the doorstep of its first national championship since the 2014-15 season, the first year of the College Football Playoff. After upsetting Clemson, the Buckeyes look to do the same to Alabama, which it beat in the College Football Playoff semifinal en route to that last national title.
When asked about the meaning of a championship this year, especially for a team that has dealt with numerous COVID-19 struggles during the course of the season (and, it should be noted, has been particularly acquiesced to by the Big Ten), Day didn’t undersell things. He thinks it would be one of the more “amazing stories” in the sport’s history.
“I’ve said it before, I think it’ll be probably one of the greatest stories in history of college football,” Day said. “At least one of the more amazing stories. The fact that we didn’t have a season, fought for a season, fought our way back. People didn’t think we made it in the CFP, and we go on to win a national championship, they’ll be talking about this for a long, long time.”
Let’s say @OhioStateFB hoists the CFP 🏆 Monday night.
What would it mean to the team?
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) January 5, 2021
“So we gotta do a great job and just focus on executing a game plan, and play at a high level. Because that’s what’s going to matter in the end. How we play. All the hype and things that surround it don’t do us any good. What matters is how we play.”
Ohio State certainly did that against Clemson, with Ryan Day’s team looking like the much better coached and prepared last weekend. That will be a tough hill to climb, especially with how explosive Alabama has looked under Nick Saban and Steve Sarkisian this year.
The national title game will kick off at 8 p.m. ET next Monday, January 11, on ESPN.
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