Scarlet Sunrise: Where does ESPN rank Ryan Day among top-10 college football coaches?

IMG_7408by:Andy Backstrom04/08/24


Good morning, Ohio State fans, and welcome to the Scarlet Sunrise. Football will always be our focus, but every day we’ll cover news, notes and analysis from across Buckeyes sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Buckeyes football, recruiting, basketball and more in Scarlet Sunrise.

Where does ESPN rank Ryan Day among top-10 college football coaches?

ESPN asked its college football reporters to rank the top-10 coaches in the sport. Ohio State’s Ryan Day made the cut — but just barely.

Day clocked in at No. 10 on the list.

Coaches received 10 points for a first-place vote, nine for a second-place vote and so on, down to one point for a 10th-place vote.

Here’s how it shook out:

  1. Kirby Smart (Georgia, 100 points)
  2. Kalen DeBoer (Alabama, 62 points)
  3. Kyle Whittingham (Utah, 56 points)
  4. Dabo Swinney (Clemson, 50 points)
  5. Mike Norvell (Florida State, 49 points)
  6. Dan Lanning (Oregon, 37 points)
  7. Steve Sarkisian (Texas, 35 points)
  8. Lane Kiffin (Ole Miss, 29 points)
  9. Lance Leipold (Kansas, 28 points)
  10. Ryan Day (Ohio State, 27 points)

And here’s who also received votes from ESPN’s college football reporters: Brian Kelly (LSU, 23 points), Lincoln Riley (USC, 20 points), Kirk Ferentz (Iowa, 7 points), Luke Fickell (Wisconsin, 7 points), Eli Drinkwitz (Missouri, 6 points), Mack Brown (North Carolina, 3 points), Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State, 3 points), Jonathan Smith (Michigan State, 3 points), Deion Sanders (Colorado, 2 points), Curt Cignetti (Indiana, 1 point); Chris Klieman (Kansas State, 1 point); Jon Sumrall (Tulane, 1 point).

Of the top-10 vote-getting coaches on ESPN’s list, only two have won a national title as a head coach: Smart and Swinney.

Day is 10th despite having just eight losses in his five-year run and a winning percentage of .875 that’s higher than everyone else’s ranked above him, even Smart’s (.855).

Unsurprisingly, Day’s three straight losses to Michigan played a role in him sliding as much as he did. Two of those three defeats effectively took the Buckeyes out of College Football Playoff contention.

“Unfortunately, those Big Ten losses came against that ‘Team Up North,’ Michigan, in each of the past three seasons, leaving some Ohio State fans to wonder if Day should be on the hot seat. Whether he can reverse the Buckeyes’ losing streak to the Wolverines, especially now that former Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is in the NFL, will go a long way in determining his future.

“Day’s offenses have been ranked in the top three in the FBS in scoring three times and in total offense four times. Yet the Buckeyes are only 2-4 in bowl games and haven’t won a Big Ten title since 2020. Turning over the offensive playcalling to former UCLA head coach Chip Kelly might be the recipe to getting OSU back on top in the expanded Big Ten.”

Mark Schlabach, ESPN

If Day can beat Michigan, pilot Ohio State back to the CFP and make a run in the 12-team bracket — complete with a championship or not — he should rise in a ranking like this next year.

That, of course, is easier said than done.

Five Buckeyes who can still make statement in final week of spring ball

It’s the final week of Ohio State spring football. The Buckeyes’ spring game is just around the corner, and so is the reopening of the transfer portal.

There’s still time for players to make a statement, though.

Lettermen Row compiled a list of five in particular who can turn some heads over the course of these final three practices in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center and then the exhibition in the ‘Shoe.

Check out that analysis here.

What to expect this week in Ohio State recruiting

Ohio State will host at least 40 prospects for the spring game. Last year, the Buckeyes received two commitments the day of the exhibition, as both tight end Max LeBlanc and running back Sam Williams-Dixon pledged.

Ohio State is welcoming five of its 2025 commits, including five-star quarterback Tavien St. Clair and five-star Plus+ cornerback Devin Sanchez

For more on the program’s recruiting priorities this week, head on over here.

Counting Down

Buckeyes vs. Akron: 145 days
Buckeyes vs. Michigan: 236 days

Are you a Lettermen Row member yet?

Are you ready to get all your latest Ohio State news in one place? Become a member of Lettermen Row today. With your Lettermen Row/On3+ membership, you’ll not only have access to everything that’s happening with the Buckeyes, but you’ll also be able to peruse other fan sites within the network to hear just how rivals are feeling about Ohio State, as well. Make sure to follow along on XInstagram and on Youtube for all the latest Buckeyes news you need to know.

You may also like