As we draw closer to the scheduled start of the college football season, it’s becoming more clear the Ohio State football team will have a huge advantage.
The Ohio State football team is one of the favorites to win the National Championship in 2020. The Buckeyes return some of its most prolific starters from a year ago including Heisman contender QB Justin Fields.
However, as uncertainty over the upcoming college football season looms, we wonder whether or not we’ll get to see Ohio State football in 2020. The country is beginning to reopen after weeks-long stay at home order were locally issued to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Right now, speculation is everyone’s best friend and guide as no one can foretell the future, but safe decision making is in the works. In terms of college football, one thing this pandemic has already claimed is spring practices, but for a team like Ohio State there are positives.
The Buckeyes will have a comparative advantage during the 2020 football season in one way or another. Recent recruiting successes have already been noted to fuel the propelling of Ohio State’s separation from the rest of the Big Ten, but that’s not where the list ends for the Buckeyes.
In addition to recruiting, in 2020 the returning experience will be another major advantage for the Buckeyes. QB Justin Fields is one of the most dynamic players in the country and getting weapons such as WRs Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson back will allow the offense not to miss a beat from a year ago.
Landing transfer RB Trey Sermon from Oklahoma will also jet the Ohio State offense into high gear as the backfield was its only question mark offensively.
Unlike Ohio State, some programs desperately needed spring practice to either implement a new offensive system or break in new quarterbacks or coordinators. A change in philosophy is always difficult regardless of side of the ball. But without the luxury of meeting in person or constantly monitored drills, it’s hard to reach the point of fluidity and comfortability in a new scheme.
Imagine the scenario of having to replace, in any combination, a starting quarterback, offensive or defensive coordinator, head coach, offensive or defensive scheme, etc., and then have those efforts halted by social distancing. It would be a nightmare, which is another reason why elite culture and leadership are so important.
Former DC Jeff Hafley moved on to become the head coach at Boston College but Ryan Day masterfully brought back Kerry Coombs from the Tennessee Titans in an expanded role from his first stint with the Buckeyes. Coombs knows the program, area and culture of Ohio State very well which aids in his smooth transition back to the collegiate level.
Day also made the move to promote Corey Dennis to Quarterbacks Coach following the departure of Mike Yurcich to Texas. Day will remain the lead play caller for the Buckeyes with the assistance of Kevin Wilson.
This allows the offensive structure from a year ago to remain intact. Year two of this scheme is going to be scary.
Again, like last year, Day has made brilliant personnel decisions as he has kept the strength of the already-in-place infrastructure paramount. He continues to earn his title of “elite coach” with each passing day and decision.
The Ohio State football team is in a great place despite all the social distancing efforts changing the landscape of college football and the world around us. These factors which give the Buckeyes an advantage over other teams will certainly be on full display if the season is able to get safely underway this fall. We pray it does.