Why Kirk Herbstreit calls Ohio State fans who want Ryan Day fired "lunatic fringe"

Colin Gay
The Columbus Dispatch

Kirk Herbstreit doesn't understand why a certain group of Ohio State football fans want the Buckeyes to move on from coach Ryan Day.

In a conversation with the Toledo Blade's David Briggs at a celebrity dinner to benefit the Historic South Initiative, the former Ohio State quarterback and current ESPN college football analyst pointed to a "lunatic fringe" of Ohio State fans who are not satisfied with Day's performance the last two seasons.

And Herbstreit admitted he didn't really care what that segment of the fanbase thinks.

“The 15 percenters, they get mad at anything,” he said. “That percent is going to be mad at something always. [Day] could win the Michigan game, go to the playoff and lose, and they’ll be mad about that. That group is just a bunch of jackasses who kind of embarrass all of us as Ohio State fans. So I don’t really care, honestly, what that group thinks. But the people who matter, the logical people who actually have a brain and understand the sport, they love what Ryan Day has done. The fact that this is even a topic is almost comical.”

Since his three-game stint as Ohio State's head coach in 2018, Day has led the Buckeyes to 45 wins in 51 games with three College Football Playoff appearances and one national championship game appearance.

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Why Kirk Herbstreit calls Ohio State fans "spoiled" in Michigan rivalry

In an interview with the Toledo Blade's Kyle Rowland, Herbstreit called Ohio State's success against Michigan from 2001-19 "unprecedented," a run where the Buckeyes have only lost twice to the Wolverines.

September 3, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Sports analyst, Lee Corso, dances with analyst and former Ohio State Buckeye, Kirk Herbstreit, after selecting the Ohio State Buckeye to win over Notre Dame as his GameDay pick during the College GameDay broadcast in Columbus, Ohio on Sept. 3, 2022; Columbus, OH, USA;  Mandatory Credit: Maddie Schroeder/Columbus Dispatch

"I think Ohio State fans — especially with social media — have really gotten to a point where they’re spoiled with just assuming that game was going to be a win," Herbstreit said.

"If you look at over 100 years of history, it’s always an ebb and flow. There are games that Michigan, I’m sure, thought they could have won and games that Ohio State thought they could have won. At the end of the day, I’m sure Ryan Day would be the first guy to tell you — I don’t think his job is on the line — that momentum has shifted to Ann Arbor. There’s an opportunity for Ohio State to put the brakes on that."

Herbstreit also said Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh "deserves a lot of credit" for the success the Wolverines have had against Ohio State, saying Michigan is becoming "who they are again" instead of being "a flash in the pan."

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However, Ohio State has ended its past two regular seasons with losses to Michigan, securing the Buckeyes' first losing streak against the Wolverines since 1999-2000.

Ohio State will end the 2023 regular season in Ann Arbor against Michigan at noon Nov. 25.

Ohio State football schedule 2023

Here's what Ohio State's 2023 football schedule looks like.

  • Sept. 2: Ohio State vs. Indiana, Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, Indiana
  • Sept. 9: Ohio State vs. Youngstown State, Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
  • Sept. 16: Ohio State vs. Western Kentucky, Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
  • Sept. 23: Ohio State vs. Notre Dame, Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Indiana
  • Oct. 7: Ohio State vs. Maryland, Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
  • Oct. 14: Ohio State vs. Purdue, Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Oct. 21: Ohio State vs. Penn State, Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
  • Oct. 28: Ohio State vs. Wisconsin, Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Nov. 4: Ohio State vs. Rutgers, SHI Stadium, Piscataway, New Jersey
  • Nov. 11: Ohio State vs. Michigan State, Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio 
  • Nov. 18: Ohio State vs. Minnesota, Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
  • Nov. 25: Ohio State vs. Michigan, Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

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