Watching the College Football Playoff National Championship Game was agonizing for Ohio State. Knowing how close the Buckeyes were to competing for a title made it extremely difficult to see LSU and Clemson on the field at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

But Ryan Day issued a challenge to his team on Monday night during the game. He wanted his players watching the title game with one thought in mind, “What are you willing to sacrifice?”

“It was hard to watch, I’m not going to lie,” Day said while talking with reporters on Wednesday. Ohio State lost to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl 29-23, coming one win shy of playing for a title.

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Day acknowledged that Ohio State’s 2019 season should be considered a success. The Buckeyes finished the year 13-1, claimed a third-straight B1G title and played in the College Football Playoff for the first time since 2016. For most of the season, Ohio State was considered the best team in the sport.

All of that was accomplished in Day’s first season, a year after replacing Urban Meyer, one of the legendary coaches in the sport.

Still, Day admitted that he thinks about the Fiesta Bowl loss constantly. And it’s a feeling he’s going to remember — and he wants his players to remember heading into next season.

“As opposed to every second, every other second. … It’s hard to let go,” Day said. “And we’re not going to let go. We’re not going to just flush this. It’s going to be here for a long time, and it should be.”

Many way-too-early polls have listed Ohio State as the No. 2 ranked team heading into next season. It will be the favorite to win the B1G and return to the College Football Playoff next fall.

But that won’t fuel Ohio State as much as proving it’s capable of winning a national title.