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Ryan Day on Ohio State expectations: 'No. 1 win the rivalry game. No. 2 win every game after that'

On Tuesday, Ryan Day was named Urban Meyer's successor as Ohio State's head coach.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- If there was a signature line from Ryan Day's introductory press conference as Ohio State's head coach, it came during his opening statement.

After going through the formalities of thanking his boss, family and fans, the 39-year-old Day insisted that when it comes to recruiting, the Buckeyes will prioritize their home state. He then made it clear that he also knows what's expected of him on the field, where in Columbus, anything less than perfection may not suffice.

"It didn't take long for me to figure out what the expectations were of Ohio State football. No. 1, win the rivalry game," Day said. "And No. 2, win every game after that."

Laughter from the rest of the room ensued.

It was tough to tell if Day was kidding.

Credit: © Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

To say that taking over Ohio State comes with lofty expectations would be an understatement. After all, this is the same school where Earle Bruce was fired because routine 9-3 seasons wasn't good enough and John Cooper was let go due to his inability to beat Michigan.

It's also the place where Urban Meyer is wrapping up an 82-9 tenure, which included three Big Ten championships -- including each of the last two -- the first-ever College Football Playoff championship and another undefeated season. And to the first part of Day's equation, Meyer amassed a 7-0 record against the Buckeyes' arch-rival, Michigan, an unprecedented run in college football's greatest rivalry.

"Very humble to be taking over for Coach Meyer and what he's done here," Day said. "The footprint that he's left here and the infrastructure is strong."

It will now be up to Day to strengthen that footprint, something that will obviously be easier said than done. While Day is considered an up-and-comer in the coaching profession -- one who would have been coveted had he not been promoted at Ohio State -- Meyer is a future Hall of Famer, the owner of the highest winning percentage of any coach to have coached as long as he has.

Day is undeniably entering a favorable situation, with the Buckeyes set to return several future NFL draft picks and a roster comprised of some of the nation's top recruiting classes. But he'll also have to prove his merit not just as a game day coach, but as the de facto CEO of one of the top programs in all of college football.

Credit: © Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

"Ryan has lived it. He's seen it," Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith insisted. And so one of the greatest responsibilities of a coach is personnel management. And there's over 70 people in the Woody Hayes Athletic Facility. So for us to have a person with his high IQ and EQ, with the understanding of what we're all about to step into this leadership role, [it's] significant."

But Smith also admitted, "Now, if he wasn't talented I wouldn't have him here if he couldn't X and O, let's be clear. He's gotta win ball games. He knows that."

The flipside to living up to such standards is it can leave you with one heckuva legacy, as was evident by the hero's sendoff Meyer received on Tuesday.

"You have to win every game you play, including that game up north," Meyer said of the difficulties of his soon-to-be former job. "And that's something that you have to embrace, because not every place is like that."

At the very least, Day can't say he didn't know what he's getting himself into.

WATCH | You can see the entire Urban Meyer-Ryan Day press conference from WKYC's Facebook Live in the player below:

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