Urban Meyer sees similarities between Ohio State coach Ryan Day and Alabama’s Nick Saban as the two prepare to battle in the College Football Playoff.
The ultimate praise in college football is to compare a head coach to Nick Saban.
Urban Meyer took that step on Friday when he called Day and Saban “very similar.”
“I’ve known coach Saban forever and coached against him four times,” Meyer said during FS1’s CFP national championship preview show. “They’re a lot different because one’s a defensive-minded coach and one’s an offensive-minded coach.
“However, they are both very similar. They believe in fundamentals. They believe in selflessness and team first. That’s why they win. They believe in discipline. Both teams are very disciplined.”
The former Buckeye head coach and now broadcaster called them “two of the best people and coaches I’ve been around.”
Urban Meyer handpicked Ryan Day to compete at Nick Saban’s level
Meyer also said that he was among the people who “hand-picked Ryan Day to take over Ohio State,” so his respect for the coach is implied. Meyer doesn’t mess around and he wouldn’t have recommended Day to be his replacement if he wasn’t up to the task.
The degree to which Day has kept Meyer’s program competing at the top level of college football is still impressive. Since 2018, he has lost just twice while taking the Buckeyes to the playoff in each of the last two years. While he fell to Clemson last year in the Fiesta Bowl, he avenged that loss for his first playoff victory with an emphatic victory over the Tigers to propel Ohio State to the national title game.
If being compared to Saban is the ultimate compliment, then facing him is the ultimate test. Day will get his chance to go up against the all-time great on Monday.