The Ohio State football team might benefit the most from a change in administrative philosophy in Columbus. With a newly appointed school president in Ted Carter, and a new athletic director in Ross Bjork, the signs are all there that a shift within how the Buckeyes do business is coming.
Gene Smith has done a tremendous job for the university in terms of shaking hands, raising capital, and building buildings for Ohio State. He turned the Buckeye athletic department into one of the most profitable in the country. And he did all this while making those around him happy.
Ohio State never wheeled its full power during Smith's tenure. The closest it got was during the Covid football season, where Smith made sure the Buckeyes would play. But he made sure to never put Ohio State above the rest of the Big Ten. Even though Ohio State was the draw, the other schools got an equal share of all TV revenue. Smith never complained publicly about schedules or game times (such as the November night game against Michigan State last season.) He fell in line and did what was best for the Big Ten conference at large.
Well, that appears to be coming to an end with this new administration. And to Smith's credit, I believe he knows that it needs to change. And it's also why Bjork, an outsider with no ties to the school, was hired in the first place. Bjork knows how NIL works and he can be both ruthless and calculated in pushing the boundaries on the NIL front. He also knows how schools in the SEC operate, coming from Texas A&M. It also looks like Ted Carter is in full lockstep with Bjork on this front.
No more will Ohio State worry about carrying the flag for the Big Ten. After the scandalous behavior of the Michigan athletic department in both football and basketball over the past few seasons, enough is enough. Bjork is here to exploit all the competitive advantages that Ohio State has at its disposal, something Gene Smith was unwilling to do. And believe me, Ohio State has many.
Ryan Day also appears to be falling in line with this way of thinking as well. He knows that championships must be won. He's no longer worried about friendships or feelings. The coaching staff has changed, and Day was as aggressive as he's ever been in acquiring new and talented players.
All this is being done at the same time that the 1870 Society collective is hitting its stride. The Buckeyes look to have figured out the world of NIL. And that spells bad news for the rest of college football. The Buckeyes will no longer fight with one arm tied behind its back. This administration will be the aggressor. Look out.