More than a month after finishing the season with back-to-back losses, including a convincing home loss to rival Michigan and a 42-41 loss to eventual national champion Georgia in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, Ohio State coach Ryan Day conceded both games still sting.
"You're talking about one or two plays, one or two calls, and that hurts, it does," he said. "... When you get that close, and you don't win the rivalry game, they sting, and certainly they wake you up in the morning."
And so it begins again -- the motivation, the winter workouts and eventually spring practices -- with the intent to reassert themselves as the best in their league. The Buckeyes are in good company, as heavyweights Alabama, Clemson and USC also have something to prove. What unfolds this fall will be a product of how certain questions are answered now.
Here are five offseason questions that will have a direct impact on the 2023 season -- the final season of a four-team College Football Playoff before it expands to 12 teams in 2024.