College football is full of weird feuds but the ongoing war of words between current Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and former Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz is among the weirdest.
As far as Day is concerned, it appears to be over now that his Buckeyes are focused on their upcoming game against the Maryland Terrapins.
Still, the OSU head coach got one last chance to explain why he decided to call out the 86-year-old in the first place.
The whole drama began when Holtz appeared on The Pat McAfee Show on the Friday before the game. Interviewed by Ty Schmidt, who was doing an impression of Holtz, the former head coach laid out the reasons he thought the Fighting Irish would defeat Ohio State, including that the Buckeyes aren’t physical enough under Day.
When OSU defeated ND the next evening, the first thing Day said afterward was “I’d like to know where Lou Holtz is now.” Holtz responded by saying that Day was deflecting from his team’s recent performances against Michigan and other people around college football also questioned the OSU coach’s thinking. While Ohio State’s bye week provided some time for things to cool down, Holtz went and dropped the Buckeyes five spots in his poll just to dig the knife a little deeper.
Meanwhile, Day remained mum until he was asked about the whole ordeal on Tuesday.
His full answer ? pic.twitter.com/t3yJ4yQldj
— Big Ten Football (@B1Gfootball) October 3, 2023
“I’m very proud we’re 2-0 against Notre Dame in the last two years,” Day said when asked if the Holtz situation was a “flashpoint” for him and his program. “I’m proud of the way our team played. I’m proud of the grit that they showed. It was an emotional game. I can tell you that the response that I’ve gotten from Buckeye Nation, people around Columbus, our team, has been remarkable. They just love the passion our team played with on Saturday.”
Day hasn’t exactly been the kind of head coach to make things personal or take the bait from the media, but he says that the win over Notre Dame was something of a breaking point for him and his team.
“You have to execute a lot of patience,” Day said. “You bite your tongue a lot. That’s part of the job. But sometimes when your team reaches a certain point some times you’ve gotta do what’s right for the guys on your team. Finding that balance is the art of being a coach.
“There’s a lot of times where you just have to take the high road and that’s gonna be done the majority of the time. But I also know that it’s Ohio against the world and that’s part of the job. Our guys also know that there’s a certain time when you’ve gotta stand up for what you believe in. We’re focused on Maryland so that’s behind us, but I also think that was a lesson learned for our team.”
It seems like Day needed the opportunity to vent his frustrations over years of criticism and blame for not being back to match his predecessor’s success, but he’s probably learned his lesson. It sounds like he’ll let the team’s play do the talking moving forward.