CHICAGO — Success will be measured in the fall, not in July, as Ryan Day knows.
But the new Ohio State football coach is brimming with optimism as training camp approaches.
“I feel great about the team,” Day said at Big Ten media days on Thursday. “I love our team. I love our players. I love being around the guys. There are teams you’ve been around where it’s a labor to go to work. That’s not the case here.”
>>VIDEO: Ryan Day at Big Ten media days
He said that except for a break around the Fourth of July, players have been working hard on their own and under strength coach Mickey Marotti.
“These are great kids and they’re working really, really hard. (But) we have a lot to prove. This is a new staff. This is a new team. We haven't done anything, and we need to do that.”
Throughout Urban Meyer’s tenure, the Buckeyes were clear favorites to win the Big Ten. Because of the coaching change, inexperience at quarterback and a porous defense in 2018, that’s not the case this year. Michigan has been touted by some prognosticators — not all — as the Big Ten favorite.
“I think our guys read it,” Day said. “They see it. Especially with social media, it's more available than ever. But that’s not something we focus on. I talk to our guys about the expectations at Ohio State couldn’t be any higher year in and year out. We know that.
“But if we focus on all that we can get ourselves distracted. It doesn’t really matter. I know it sounds like coach-speak, but it’s true.”
Day shed little light on the quarterback situation, other than to point that it’s an entirely new unit from 2018 except for Chris Chugunov. He said that Georgia transfer Justin Fields and Kentucky transfer Gunnar Hoak will compete for the job. Fields is considered the strong front-runner.
OSU-Miami on BTN
Ohio State’s game against Miami University on Sept. 21 will be broadcast by BTN, the network’s new president announced Thursday.
Francois McGillicuddy, who takes over as the head of the network from Mark Silverman, did not reveal a time for the game.
The game times and network for six other OSU games were announced in May. They included four noon games, and none were slated for BTN.