The natives are getting restless at Ohio State and LSU

The pressure is on for head coaches Ryan Day of Ohio State and Brian Kelly of LSU. Both coaches are facing staff turnover and the need to make changes after disappointing seasons. For Day, the Buckeyes’ offense, usually a powerhouse in the Big Ten, never quite lived up to expectations. As a result, Day is reportedly considering changes to his play calling and the quarterback coach position.

Reports suggest that Day is searching for a new offensive coordinator who will have the authority to evaluate and make changes to the coaching staff. This puts quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis, whose contract is expiring, in a precarious position. With Day looking to shift blame and find a scapegoat for the team’s struggles, someone will likely take the fall.

However, this plan presents a challenge as Brian Hartline, the wide receivers coach, is widely regarded as one of the best in the country. Hartline has consistently produced top-tier talent, including recent first-round draft pick Marvin Harrison Jr. Any demotion or restructuring of Hartline’s role must be done delicately to avoid upsetting him.

While Ohio State fans may be frustrated by their team’s loss to rival Michigan, it is important to consider the circumstances. Bowl games often become difficult for coaches when they have depleted rosters and third-string quarterbacks due to injuries. Expecting a flawless performance under these conditions is unrealistic.

The responsibility for the Buckeyes’ quarterback struggles falls on the coach who chose Will Howard as the solution. If that coach is Day, then perhaps he should face consequences. However, it seems that Ohio State has rushed into making changes without taking a step back to assess the situation objectively. The offensive overhaul currently underway could potentially have negative consequences if not executed carefully.

In Baton Rouge, Brian Kelly’s defense failed to deliver enough wins despite winning Jayden Daniels the Heisman. Known for his cutthroat approach, Kelly recently fired defensive coordinator Matt House and three other defensive assistants. To replace House, LSU hired Blake Baker, who previously served as Missouri’s defensive coordinator.

Baker’s defense allowed 21 points per game this season, which is not particularly impressive. LSU fans may be optimistic about his hiring based on the fact that Daniels and the offense put up 49 points and 533 yards against Baker’s defense when they faced Missouri. However, it is important to note that the SEC East, where Missouri resides, was relatively weak in 2023.

While the talent level at LSU will undoubtedly be higher, with top recruit Harold Perkins Jr. joining the team, there is still uncertainty surrounding the defense. Perkins, an All-SEC first-team linebacker as a freshman, had an inconsistent season due to playing out of position. As long as Perkins remains with the team through spring ball, there is hope for improvement.

Brian Kelly’s leadership style has drawn criticism in the past, and his job security may be in question if the LSU defense fails to perform at the level expected of an LSU team. The success of these coaching changes will ultimately be determined by the results they produce. While changes have saved other coaches’ jobs in the past, it is concerning when a head coach starts replacing assistants as a means of self-preservation.

In conclusion, both Ryan Day and Brian Kelly are under pressure to make changes and improve their programs after disappointing seasons. The success of these coaching changes remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: the fixes better work, or else these head coaches may find themselves on even hotter seats.

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