As much as everyone would love to pretend that the Cotton Bowl didn't happen, it did. The Ohio State football team scored just three points in a Bowl game, their lowest margin since getting shut out in the CFP semi-finals by Clemson back in 2017. One of the biggest issues in the Cotton Bowl was the offensive line.
For some reason, Ryan Day decided to make Matt Jones the center and put Enokk Vimahi as the starting right guard. That inexplicably took Carson Hinzman out of the lineup despite being the starting center the entire season. He wasn't great this year, but he's still extremely young and certainly not the worst offensive lineman.
So why did Day do this? Many think it was because of a now-deleted podcast where HInzman talked about a wide range of things, including about Day and his staff and how they were handling things, as well as how the Buckeyes were preparing for the Bowl game itself.
It doesn't make any sense to bench Hinzman over what he said. If he did, (you can listen to the full audio here) then Day did his team a massive disservice. Vimahi looked lost out there. Hinzman wasn't the main issue on the offensive line this year. The two tackles were.
Keeping Josh Simmons out there at left tackle is a bigger crime than letting Hinzman criticize things (rightfully) that have been happening around the program. If Day really is that soft, he needs to be let go immediately. Hinzman didn't even directly criticize Day or say he was doing anything wrong either.
Day had talked about getting Jones reps at center earlier in the season. That's fine! If you want to put Jones in at center, move HInzman to guard. That's what he was recruited to be anyway. Don't let Vimahi come in for the first time all season and get his doors blown off.
None of this makes sense. The Ohio State football team is heading into 2024 with a lack of momentum that is startling.