Some college football coaches, including Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, have been very vocal about the importance of playing games and implied that a team like Ohio State, which has only played six games due to COVID-19 cancellations, wasn’t as deserving of making the College Football Playoff as other teams who have taken the field several more times this season than the Buckeyes.
During ESPN’s CFB Playoff Selection Show on Sunday, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day was interviewed and asked about the comments from coaches around the country who feel the Buckeyes shouldn’t have been included in the playoff.
“Like I said, I totally respect everybody’s situation because everyone has gone through different things this year,” Day said on ESPN. “Everyone has gone through different challenges, and I just focus on this team because I just know how special these guys are and everything they’ve overcome. The fact that we started our season on Oct. 23, and when the virus spiked and we had three games cancelled, they just keep showing up every day.
“This team has learned more life lessons this season than any team I’ve ever been around in my entire coaching career, and that’s really why we get into coaching, and this has an opportunity to be one of the best stories in the history of college football if we’re able just to keep moving forward and have some success. So, we’ll see. That’s why you play the game, and again I have so much respect for so many teams and so many young men who have been through so much and worked through so much adversity this season.”
Day admitted there has been plenty of stress and worries throughout the season as he and his team have dealt with and been impacted by the coronavirus, and there was a level of anxiety about whether Ohio State would be selected for the CFP considering the number of games it played relative to other teams.
Of course, the six games Ohio State ended up competing in, including its victory over No. 14 Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship on Saturday, were good enough for the Buckeyes to earn the No. 3 seed and draw a matchup against No. 2 Clemson in the CFP semifinal at the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.
“It’s such a strange year,” Day said. “The thing that I just keep going back to is I’ve just been so inspired listening to the stories of so many teams that have been through so many challenges this year. The theme you just keep hearing over and over is overcoming adversity, and I think we’re no different here. There was a time where we didn’t have anything. We didn’t have a season, and here we are, ranked No. 3 going into the CFP. So, it’s been kind of that way all year. You talk about anxiety – there’s been anxiety for a long time.”
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