Sunday, September 13, 2009

Three yards and a cloud of turf

As I am of this age, I cut my teeth on the football teachings of Woody and Bo. This is Big Ten country after all. Mind you, I didn't always agree with their offensive tactics but who am I to question legends of the game? They ruled the roost for many years and were respected around the country by those who matter in the football world. That being said, three yards and a cloud of dust still leaves fourth and one.

The Big Ten has had it's struggles in recent years and some of it is due to this outmoded thinking. There has been a gradual change to some extent over the years but there is still a good many coaches stuck in that philosophy. Even the Buckeye's current coach Jim Tressel (for whom I have tremendous respect) has stated you need to protect the ball and run it in cold weather here up north. Uh, no you don't coach.

I looked at the average weather patterns in Madison Wisconsin for the third week of November. Madison is the northern-most city in the conference. Actually, Minneapolis is slightly north of where the Badgers play but the Gophers play in a dome where weather doesn't matter, and many aren't sure you could call what they do football. Why the third week of November? Well, that is usually the last week the Big Ten plays a game. The average temperature for that Saturday is in the low forties. Hardly bone-chilling. You can't really count rain and wind because that happens even in the SEC.

I would guess in any given year there may, and I repeat, MAY be two games a year in the entire conference where cold plays into a game itself. It is more uncomfortable for fans sitting in a stadium than it is for players who are working up a good sweat. Woody used to say when you throw three things can happen and two of them are bad. Unfortunately our beloved Woody didn't realize the same thing is true for a running play.

I was happy to see the Buckeyes open up the attack and finally discover they have a tight end the first two weeks of this season. The most talented players today don't want to play three yards and a cloud of dust any more. To be successful you have to recruit successfully. You have to be the best to get the best. Besides, there is no dust in turf only little rubber pebbles that get in your eye.

O - H


  1. The Golden Gophers now play in an outdoor stadium, as of last night.

    The Buckeyes are in a state of program-stagnation; perhaps winning the 2002 national title was not the best thing to happen, as it cemented (apparently) Tressel's thinking that D-1AA tactics will work just as well as 1-A tactics.

    They have talent, it is just not being developed.


  2. I watched (live stream on computer!) the USC game and was terribly disappointed in the last three minutes. Good game until then! Here's hoping they get that final quarter offense and defense turned around - it does take four quarters, and you can't fall apart in the final minutes and expect to play national title caliber ball.

  3. If they're not up 14 going in to the 4th, they just can't seem to hold things together. Even then sometimes it's a toss-up. Very frustrating. I am glad to see they at least played very well this time instead of the half-a@@ attempt against the SEC the last couple times out.