Ryan Day hasn’t slept much these days. Between trying to work the transfer portal and build a stable recruiting class for 2023, the Buckeyes coach is preparing to face off against No. 1 Georgia in the Peach Bowl as part of the College Football Playoff.

Day said that his team understands what’s at stake following an 11-1 finish. Not only will the Buckeyes potentially have a chance to face No. 2 Michigan for a shot at the national title should both programs win, but they’ll also be able to silence the critics about their status as one of the four best teams of 2022.

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“I see a team that realizes that not a lot of people give us a chance,” Day said during his Early Signing Period press conference Wednesday. “We know what we’re in for, we know what the challenge is.”

The Buckeyes dominated teams for most of the season, but a loss to Michigan on Nov. 26 soured their Playoff chances entering conference championship weekend. Thanks to a loss by USC in the Pac-12 title game to Utah, Ohio State moved up one spot to make the cut in the final four.

Georgia is one of two programs that went undefeated in 2022, joining Michigan, who defeated Purdue in the B1G title game. Should Ohio State win on New Year’s Eve, it will face off with the winner of Michigan-TCU in the national title at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Jan. 9.