If first year Buckeye football coach Ryan Day was looking to put a chip on his players shoulders, he should send a thank you note to ESPN.
The self-proclaimed World Wide Leader, posted their first pre-season college football "power index" poll. On Twitter, they listed the top 10 and the Buckeyes were conspicuously absent.
Defending champion Clemson, as you might expect, tops the poll with Alabama No. 2 with Georgia, LSU and Michigan rounding out the top five. The Wolverines are the only Big Ten team in the ESPN power index top 10. In fact the power index, based on projected offensive and defensive rankings and analytics, doesn't even rank Ohio State as the second best Big Ten team. Penn State is No. 12 in the poll, with the Buckeyes checking in at 13th. The other Big Ten teams in their top 25 are Michigan State (14th), Wisconsin (23rd) and Iowa (25th).
When the rankings were posted, several Buckeyes reacted, including safety and team captain Jordan Fuller
Ryan Day's Buckeye Coaching Staff Introduced
It was an ugly night of basketball at the Schottenstein Center (we'll get to that momentarily) but there was an opportunity for Buckeye fans to cheer. At halftime of Ohio State's loss to Illinois, Ryan Day and his new coaching staff were introduced. All were received warmly, but the loudest ovations were for former Buckeye and wide receivers coach Brian Hartline and of course, Day. After the introductions, Day grabbed the mic and said a few words to the crowd. Lori Schmidt posted the audio on our WTVN Twitter feed. You can hear Coach Day's comments below.
The Columbus Valentines Night Massacre
What we hoped would be a fun night of sports in Columbus turned into a major bummer. The Blue Jackets and Basketball Buckeyes, both home, both riding winning streaks and both playing important games, both laid eggs. The Jackets were shutout by the division leading New York Islanders 3-0. The CBJ actually out shot New York 31-27, but couldn't solve Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss.
The Buckeyes, on the NCAA tournament bubble, suffered a costly loss to an Illinois team that had won only nine games. The Illini, an improving team, won their fourth straight by smothering the Buckeyes 63-56. Once again, turnovers were a major issue. Guard C.J. Jackson had a career high seven of them and as a team, Ohio State turned it over 18 times. In fact the Buckeyes had more turnovers, than made baskets (17). The lack-luster game was mirrored by the lack-luster crowd. Only 12,420 were on hand at the Schott for an important February game. The attendance at Nationwide was better (16,531) but the total for the two venues was 28,951. That means if you took the under in my poll yesterday, you were right.