Matt Barrie blasts offseason narrative surrounding Ryan Day: It's 'driven me absolutely nuts'
Matt Barrie knows a thing or two about hot takes and offseason storylines as a lead commentator and analyst for ESPN’s SportsCenter. However, even he has had enough of one off-season storyline surrounding Ohio State head coach Ryan Day.
In a recent segment with Paul Finebaum for the Matt Barrie Show, Barrie explained why he’s sick and tired of hearing any chatter about a hot seat in Columbus. Even with the back-to-back losses to Michigan, Barrie does not see any drama surrounding Day’s status as a “top-flight head coach” for the Buckeyes moving forward.
Here’s what he had to say:
There’s been a prevailing storyline this offseason that has driven me absolutely nuts. And it drives me nuts because it’s also what makes me fall in love with this sport to begin with and it’s the passion of the people, it’s the passion of the fans that it’s ‘You need to win this game to prove to us that you are still worthy of this job.’
But can we please stop? Can we just stop the narrative that Ryan Day is in trouble because he’s lost to Michigan two years in a row? I don’t want to hear it, I don’t want that story to be out there. He could have beaten Georgia in the Playoff. I know he didn’t, but he could have beaten Georgia in the Playoff. You could argue they’re the most talented team in America top to bottom. I don’t care that he’s lost to Michigan twice in a row. He’s a top-flight head coach that has Ohio State in contention every year.
Finebaum followed up that assessment and mostly agreed with Barrie. While Finebaum agrees that Day isn’t going anywhere at the end of 2023, he also admitted it’s hard to move a program forward like Day has done while also losing to his biggest rival consistently.
“That game (vs. Michigan) does matter, and I frankly think they’re going to exceed even their expectations that they have this season for all the reasons you laid out,” said Finebaum. “But you can’t move a program forward at a level like Ryan Day has done and lose again to your biggest opponent.”
Here’s the full segment between the two analysts:
Ohio State’s challenges for 2023
One of the first challenges facing Day this year is finding his starting quarterback. While Kyle McCord looks like the early pick for QB1, Devin Brown could make things interesting in fall camp.
Beyond the QB position, the Buckeyes are looking for further growth from Jim Knowles and the defense in 2023. With a front 7 loaded with elite talent and veteran experience, Ohio State needs more from a unit that fell flat in some key moments late in the season a year ago.
The other thing that could pose problems for Ohio State this season is a schedule that features some tough road games. Notre Dame and Michigan are on the road, as are conference games against Purdue and Wisconsin. While the Buckeyes should be favored in all of those but The Game, a tough road environment could pose problems for a first-year starter at QB.