Ryan Day, Ohio State not fretting first College Football Playoff rankings

Bill Rabinowitz
Ohio State coach Ryan Day, shown here in OSU's game at Maryland last season, said Tuesday that the first playoff rankings mean nothing if the Buckeyes don't continue to stay focused. [Kyle Robertson/Dispatch]

The biggest news regarding the Ohio State football team won’t come until Tuesday night, when the first College Football Playoff rankings are released.

Many Buckeyes fans will anxiously wait to learn where Ohio State will be ranked, but coach Ryan Day won’t be among them.

“It’s for the fans,” Day said. “I don’t think it means anything to us. If we lose this week, we’re not going to be in the top four.”

Ohio State is considered a lock to be among the top four in the rankings. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that OSU could be in the top spot, though LSU, ranked first in the major polls, is expected to be. The Buckeyes (8-0) are ranked No. 3 in the polls.

Asked if he was at least curious about the rankings, Day said, “Not really, because it doesn’t really matter if we don’t continue to win.”

Ohio State is a 43-point favorite on Saturday against visiting Maryland (3-6). The Terrapins would have beaten the Buckeyes at home last year if not for a failed two-point conversion in overtime that allowed Ohio State to escape 52-51.

But this is not the same Terrapins team, and it’s not the same Buckeyes defense. Maryland has faded badly after a promising 2-0 start. OSU has allowed only 38 points in five Big Ten victories. Even so, Day said the memory of last year’s game remains.

“(We) know how dangerous their running game is,” he said. “It was only a year ago that they ran for 300 yards.”

Maryland rushed for 339 yards on 48 carries that afternoon and totaled 535 yards of offense. Day was in charge of the offense then, and that unit made plenty of clutch plays to overcome the shoddy defense.

“It was a wild game,” Day said. “I remember it being crazy, that’s for sure.”

It would be a major surprise if Saturday’s game resembles last year’s, but Day isn’t taking any chances. He said he has reminded his team repeatedly not to overlook anybody.

“You’re dealing with 18-, 19-, 20-year-old young men,” Day said. “You have to make sure you’re on top of them.”


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