Michigan Football: Is Ryan Day right about timing of ‘The Game’?

Ohio State coach Ryan Day shakes hands with Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh following Saturday's game.Img Ohio State Buckeyes 1 1 0euspm7b L1741352332
Ohio State coach Ryan Day shakes hands with Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh following Saturday's game.Img Ohio State Buckeyes 1 1 0euspm7b L1741352332 /

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day suggested that the timing of “The Game” between Michigan football and Ohio State should be re-examined. 

Some fans like to think of Big Ten Media Days as the unofficial start of the college football season.

It’s the first chance to hear from the Big Ten head coaches and players in a long time, then most programs start fall camp next week.

Michigan football will do its media session on Thursday. The big name on Wednesday was Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and he had some interesting things to say about “The Game.”

Day suggested that Michigan football and Ohio State’s annual battle should be played during another time since, starting in 2024, there will no longer be Big Ten divisions.

"“People see it from different points of view. I’m glad we still have the rivalry game. I do think we should consider when we play it, just because you may end up playing it back-to-back weeks … which would be awkward. I know we need to consider the tradition, but I think it’s worth a conversation on when. I think that’s significant just on how the season plays out. Other than that, I think they did the best they could with it. The good news is they didn’t build a schedule that is locked in or a long period of time. I think they can do this for a couple years, reevaluate, and then have the flexibility to change it up, if needed.”"

Why things shouldn’t change

Day makes a fair point about Michigan football and Ohio State playing potentially in back-to-back weeks. If both teams were undefeated, such as last season, they could already have their championship game berths (against each other) clinched.

I don’t know if it would be awkward as Day said. Maybe the two teams might rest injured players or the like but honestly, I don’t see that.

This game means so much to both programs that whenever you play it, the players and coaches will be giving it their all. Beating Ohio State will always be a goal for Michigan football and vice versa and that won’t change regardless of when the game is played.

It could also create some really interesting scenarios. Michigan football could have to beat Ohio State to get another shot at Ohio State for the Big Ten title.

Both teams would desperately want to win that game. Michigan would want to advance and Ohio State would love nothing more than to end Michigan’s title hopes.

We also have to remember that there will be 16 teams competing for the top two spots and one of them is USC. Making the 12-team playoff is the most important thing and playing “The Game” in late November helps that playoff resume too.

I don’t love the idea of Michigan football beating Ohio State in Columbus and having to beat them again the next week to win the Big Ten title. However, that’s not a good enough reason to move “The Game” from its traditional spot.

Next. Michigan is undefeated against these FBS teams. dark

That would be a mistake and while I get what Day is thinking, he should worry less about when Ohio State plays Michigan and more about beating the Wolverines, which he hasn’t done in consecutive tries.