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Can Ohio State handle the Ryan Day regime any better than the last? // B1G 2019, Potluck #1

Columbus burger eating challenges, the challenge of not completely messing up a scandal, and the challenge of predicting whether Urban Meyer winds up at USC or Notre Dame.

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Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer Press Conference Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

We’ve almost reached the end.

It’s the end of B1G 2019—Ohio State Week at Off Tackle Empire—and with the kickoff of non-conference play just two and a half weeks away, the writers are starting to get a little bit restless. So let’s just all get through this together, tell Ohio State how nice and shiny they are and how we all admire them, and just kind of run out the clock on this. OK?

Question #1: Nothing less than the best

Much like how we don’t need to pretend Ohio State is aspiring to anything less than the College Football Playoff, we don’t need to waste our time on appetizers or finger food in Columbus. So let’s get right to the Feats of Strength and bring out the Thurmanator — an overstuffed burger at Thurman’s Cafe in Columbus:

The burger consists of a bottom bun, mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle, banana peppers, a 12 ounce burger patty, bacon, cheddar, another 12 ounce burger patty, sautéed mushrooms & onions, ham, mozzarella & American cheese, and top bun, served with fries and a pickle spear.

– Everything must be finished in one sitting in order to win.

– Wall of Fame

– Note: Meal is not free or discounted

What’s the “eating challenge” food in your college town, have you done it, and do you think you could do the Thurmanator?

LPW: My friends, my brother and I engaged in trying to eat as much all-you-can-eat sushi as possible at Wasabi Cafe (formerly House of Sushi and Noodles) in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. I love sushi, but having these guys egging you on for ONE MORE PLATE! ONE MORE PLATE! Is a bit nauseating. I’m lucky I didn’t throw up. I’m not going to do the Thurminator.

MNW: I could not do the Thurminator and/or most eating challenges--not because I am an un-American, portion-controlling weenie like MC ClapYoHandz, but because I am a relatively picky eater. That mayo, tomato, and pickle? Hell no. No way. Give me another patty of beef, but don’t make me eat all that shit.

Merle’s BBQ--before it closed--used to have the Fitz Burger Challenge: Two of these in 30 minutes, and you got I don’t know. I can’t say it’d be worth it, though. Only thing remotely close that I’ve done is eat an entire Chessie in one sitting at a Maryland football game.

I’m regretting not making this one a “Design an eating challenge named after your coach” challenge, though. I imagine the “PJ Fleck Challenge” would be chugging a case of Red Bull in under 60 minutes. Do it, and you get nothing; Life Is Its Own Journey (is something I’m sure adorns the powder room at the Fleck home).

WSR: I probably could do the Thurmanator, but I’m not really sure I’d want to. That’s got to be a day or two’s worth of calories on the current “GET WSR TO 230 LBS” plan. Take the damn mayo off and we’ll talk.

I’m the type of idiot that loves both a good burger and a good challenge, so this would probably be right up my alley before I realized what I did and tried to hibernate for about a day and a half. If I were to go try something here that wasn’t another burger challenge because every town has to have a couple of them, it’d be the Pho-King challenge at iPho. You get 45 minutes to down 10 lbs of Pho, and that just sounds like a wonderful way to die.

(Shout-out to Lu’s Banh Mi Challenge as being my runner-up. 25 minutes to down a nearly 2-foot long banhwich is definitely on the list of stupid things to consider in the next year or so.)

Jesse: There are probably three or four things a day that remind me “you’re not in your 20s anymore” and seeing food challenges is one of those things. I’m sure that 21 year old Jesse who still runs and doesn’t hate the idea of ingesting more calories in one sitting than I need in a month, could/would attempt this stupid thing. Now? Well, now I’m questioning how long my digestive track is screwed, and how long until I will need to wait to go back to the doctor to talk about my cholesterol spike.

As for food challenges, I’m not sure about Lincoln but in Omaha, the Stellanator at Stella’s is probably the most well known food challenge. I think two people have done it? It’s basically the most ridiculous thing possible.

BRT: I know it’s shocking since I’m 480 lbs, but I am certain I could not do the Thurminator. For one, I’m world’s slowest eater. Not only has this annoyed countless dining companions throughout the years, it also makes eating challenges nearly impossible, where speed is one of your only weapons.

I don’t know of any eating challenges in my town, so I’ll use MNW’s in-text suggestion of naming an eating challenge after your coach. The guy’s name is Frost, so obviously it’s going to be something cold, and since we’re allegedly the dumb school, we’ll keep it simple: eat a gallon of ice cream, by yourself, in an hour. (Gallons can be split into pints in order to keep it frozen throughout the course of the challenge.)

Boilerman: Just looking at that picture. My colon, it weeps.

I’m not aware of any eating challenges at Purdue. Locally, a local wing chain in the area called Wings Etc. has your standard “Eat a basket of wings so hot the hair on your ass won’t survive the next morning” challenge. I tried part of one of the wings once. I must admit that I’ve never felt my mouth, throat, stomach, lungs, nose, and ears burn like that before. I could only imagine what a full basket of those bad boys would do to my digestive system and soul simultaneously.

BrianB2: Food challenges that involve copious amounts of food, especially when a good deal of that food is red meat would certainly end in abject failure for me. My appetite, much like Maryland’s appetite for athletic success, is quite small, and easily satiated. (I can barely finish a Chipotle Burrito in one sitting)

In College Park there is a “Cluck-U Chicken” that has its “911 challenge” which predictably is eating 10 or so needlessly spicy wings in a short amount of time. Rutgers folks might be familiar with this challenge, as I believe Cluck-U’s exist in New Jersey as well. I have never attempted this, but I have tried the “911 sauce” and it certainly lives up to its namesake, BUT, while it would leave me feeling terribly miserable, completing a challenge of this nature would at least be in the realm of possibility, unlike eating 5,000 calories in one sitting.

Zuzu: The Fat Sandwich Challenge of course. If you can eat 5 in 45 (I think) minutes you get a fat sandwich named after you. Few have done it. Many attempted it. No way I ever will. I can barely eat one.


Thurmanator: Couldja?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    (43 votes)
  • 71%
    Hell no.
    (108 votes)
151 votes total Vote Now

Question #2: What’s next for Day and Urbz?

We’ll be honest with you: It’s tough to keep running out these potlucks for Ohio State and saying things to the effect of “Yeah, they’ll be good, but how good?” Now, finding food you can gorge yourself on? Hell yeah. But when the biggest question is whether Ryan Day will be more Luke Fickell or Urban Meyer—or Jim Tressel—there’s not a lot for us to go on.

So, writers, tell us these two things:

(1) Is Ohio State navigating this high-wire act well enough--from Tattoogate to Early Urban to the Zach Smith fiasco--and what does Ryan Day need to do to survive the never-ending rollercoaster ride that comes with leading one of the biggest brands in college football?

(2) When Urban Meyer finally emerges, cushy OSU job notwithstanding, what’s his next job: Athletics Director at Cincinnati? Head coach at USC? Shouty man on ESPN?

Bonus: What coach got run out any number of years/decades ago for so much less than it would take today?

LPW: It’s really simple: all Coach Day needs to do in Columbus is keep winning at the level OSU fans expect, embarrass Michigan each year, and really important: IMMEDIATELY tell your AD if any boosters are doing stupid shit, like trying to bribe your players, or if your players are doing stupid shit. If a player fumbles the ball or ditches class, you can handle that. Other than that, remember what happened to Tressel: out of an abundance of caution, tell your boss and let that problem be his problem. CYA.

I think Urban Meyer should definitely become Cincy’s AD. That’s a nice job for him, and I think he’d do well there.

MNW: The Zach Smith debacle was just that. It was handled poorly, it brought out the worst in the University’s braying faithful, and it was yet another opportunity to rehash Urban Meyer’s past failings. If Ryan Day can improve on anything, it could be an improved image for the program. Y’know, like not needing to answer questions about known wife abusers on your staff because those issues don’t exist, rather than just handling them well.

When his TV time is done, Urbz will emerge as that assistant AD, then parlay that into something like an AD ladder-climbing gig. Maybe Bowling Green, though his alma mater Cincinnati is certainly believable. I might actually be inclined to believe he’s done coaching.

WSR: You know, they looked pretty good with Day calling the shots last year. How much of it was him implementing and running things vs. just trying to sing while Urban was drinking water is what we’ll find out this fall. I think all he needs to do is use the outstanding talent he’s got at his disposal to run roughshod over the schlubs he’ll face this fall. Are they navigating what should have been a rather damning scandal involving a head coach covering up his knowledge of an assistant being an abusive shitbag? Not at all, but this is Ohio State and we shouldn’t really have any expectations of decency for them. Much like an Eli Wallach appearance in a movie, we know what we’re getting: excellence and some outstanding shithousery.

Isn’t Urbz on the Fox studio show for this fall? That seems like a perfectly cushy gig for him to rest up and “spend time with his family” before taking the USC job in about November just in time to slap together a top-10 class of kids.

Jesse: Are we pretending Urban Meyer isn’t the USC coach-in-waiting already? Anyhow, Ryan Day is probably a pretty good coach, the recruiting is still pretty damn good, and until someone figures out how Luke Fickell sucked so hard in his one year, I’m of the belief that the current OSU machine is more about not screwing up than anything else.

BRT: Did they do the tightwire well enough? Of course there were plenty of missteps, but no one really thinks much of them, and it cost the program very little (if anything) in terms of fan support. All Day has to do is win--like OSU and any other big-time program, if you win enough, you can get away with pretty much anything (this sentence is how to summon Stew, if you were ever curious about how to do that.) It would also behoove him not to hire Zach Smith to do anything, which is really good advice for us all.

I expect Meyer’s pinched face to be beaming into living rooms this fall, as he takes his timeout to consider his options. As my colleagues have pointed out, USC seems like a likely place for him to turn up next. However, I’m rooting for him to land in the ACC or Big 12, as my personal pet theory is that he’s going for a Bingo of coaching in Power Five conferences.

Zuzu: Pleass please please PLEASE be USC. Not fair that I've come to a historically good, blueblood school during down years. I wanna see wins dammit and Urban wins at any cost.


What’s Urban Meyer’s next move?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Coach at Notre Dame
    (25 votes)
  • 31%
    Coach at USC
    (59 votes)
  • 3%
    AD at Bowling Green
    (7 votes)
  • 7%
    AD at Cincinnati
    (14 votes)
  • 32%
    TV talking head
    (61 votes)
  • 10%
    (20 votes)
186 votes total Vote Now